“You don't want perfection to keep you from action. And we're talking about, you know, highly qualified people, right. And they're used to being experts in their field and doing things perfectly. And now welcome to the world of business, which is new, and then welcome to the world of functional medicine, where everyone might have mostly the same body parts, but everything works differently and unique for that patient. So there is no perfect protocol that will apply for everyone.” - Dr. Brandy Zachary (Dr. Z)
Join us for an energetic and eye-opening discussion with Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP, the founder and head of the Functional Medicine Academy, as we talk about the business of health and how you as a Functional Medicine provider can build, launch, grow, and perfect your own practice.
Dr. Z has taught classes for or been interviewed by IFM (Institute for Functional Medicine), Rupa Health, Designs for Health, 3x4 Genetics, SIBO SOS, Health Means, SIBO Doctor and more.
She regularly teaches to multidisciplinary audiences including MD, DO, DC, ND, FNP, RN, PharmD, LAc, and other nutritional practitioners.
Dr. Z has extensive experience growing 6- & 7- figure practices. She has previously published peer-reviewed literature and created a unique personality profiling system published by McGraw-Hill, NY which was a best-seller and won awards in sales. Her custom-built LabDX software is soon to be released to help practitioners with Functional Medicine lab analysis.
0:01 Introduction to today’s episode.
1:06 How Dr. Z structures her business.
6:36 The difference between functional medicine and conventional medicine.
12:31 How to get started with functional medicine.
17:29 The importance of experiential learning in business.
20:39 Rapid scaling your practice.
26:17 Do the full gamut of functional medicine.
30:29 Marketing is an essential skill set in functional medicine.
35:02 Marketing for people just starting their practice.
39:45 How to get started with a website.
45:01 How to read a client from across the room.
51:49 The power of building a community.
Jennifer Wenzel 0:01
Hello, everybody, welcome to the Root Cause Marketing webinar series where today we are extremely happy and excited to have one of our dear mentors, Dr. Z, who has worked with 1000s of healthcare entrepreneurs on their branding, marketing, sales, speaking clinical and overall practice strategy. And doctors, he loves to teach about the business of health and rapid practice throughout. So that's what we're talking about with her today. Her practical, actionable and fun approach to learning is an absolute favorite amongst functional medicine practitioners. So, we are so happy to have her here today.
Landy Miyake 0:41
Yes, yes, she is definitely one of our mentors in this field for sure. We love her approach in teaching and, and all of the things so we're really excited to have her on today to share her wisdom and pro tips from all of her experience in the field. So we welcome you. And we thank you.
Dr. Z 1:06
Thank you both for having me here. It's a pleasure. It's always nice to see the two of you, I love what you're doing. Not a lot of functional medicine marketers out there, right. But such a, such a growing field, such a big need. So good job. Thank you.
Landy Miyake 1:22
Jennifer Wenzel 1:24
For those in the audience who may not have heard of you yet, but they clearly will be very shortly, would you like to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about how you structure your various businesses and the things that you offer to the functional medicine community yourself?
Dr. Z 1:40
Sure, um, I've been a practitioner for a long time, my original licenses as a DC, I had a chiropractic practice, oh, gosh, traditional like 20 Some years ago. And then I had a completely different career for some time. And I was doing executive coaching and consulting and being on stage and teaching entrepreneurs mostly help entrepreneurs, but other fields also pretty much everyone who had to get their own clients, and teaching them how to brand and market and sell and speak from stage. And I created the character code system, which was the world's first visual personality profiling system. And that was published by McGraw Hill out of New York. So I was very busy, I had a lot of fun, was hugely successful and had a client list of over 20,000. And, you know, did a lot in person, did a lot virtual. So it was really early. I think I did like one of the first summits ever before I'd ever heard of. And, you know, now it's like endlessly been done. And so I sort of thought I'd be in that field and not working as a healthcare practitioner again. But then I got sick, and it was sort of a mystery illness, why would it happen? I was a really good patient, but I just got worse, not better. And so that's how I found functional medicine was as a patient and I went back to school. To learn it, I reactivated my own license, so I could order my own labs. And it took three years of research to figure out what was going on. And by the time I was coming to the end of that feeling better, and like ready to enter the world again, because I had been really sick like in bed 22 hours a day, drop off the face of the earth type of sick. You know, people saw the transformation, they started you noticing. So I decided to open a little practice. And that was Body Love Cafe. So that was my first in person clinic and it just grew rapidly. I used all that experience and knowledge I had training people for so long. I'm also a fifth generation female entrepreneur. So for better or worse, I'm sort of born and bred listening to these things. And although I was the first one in healthcare, but yeah, generations of women, so being just a standard employee, I don't think it was even in the cards. But I had two expansions and rapid growth within about the first year of practice. And I had in person I've had hybrid, I've had multidisciplinary, I've had 100% telemedicine. So I've seen 1000s of patients and worked with really complex cases and taught a lot clinically which I love to do. I love to take complex information and make it simple. But besides the love for clinical truly my love is helping practitioners get their business going, especially since so many of them have no clue about business. And they want to do such a wonderful thing helping take care of these patients so we can just help them get started. Get up and running. Have a joyous profitable day. Great service practice, that that's my happy place.
Jennifer Wenzel 5:06
It's interesting that you come to functional medicine, like so many others do from your own health journey, that is definitely a thread that we see running throughout the practitioners that we connect with in the field. And I think it makes for such a base of empathy. And, and that, that connection that people really want to feel from their doctors, which is, of course, one of the other great benefits of functional medicine, those relationships and those the way that you can dig into people's histories and backgrounds and really get to know them. So it's thank you for sharing that journey with us.
Dr. Z 5:45
Yeah, no problem. And you're right, it is very common, and not that I ever want anyone to be sick. But whatever the experience is, that drives them into functional medicine, because, you know, I have clients, their emergency room doctors, their pediatricians, their physicians, they, they had hugely successful, high volume, chiropractic practices, dentists, pharmacists, you know, so many nurses, this huge range where they really like set, and they didn't need to move into a new field. But that journey, they had themselves convinced that I want to do this for other people. And it really makes them a better practitioner, because now it's not just textbook, or clinical information or learning, you know, learning from someone else, they know what it's like to be on the other side and have that experience as a patient. So those are my favorite practitioners for sure.
Landy Miyake 6:40
Yeah, well, that's, I mean, there's kind of like, two sides of that, you know, because obviously, having gone through a health journey, yourself or these practitioners, right, that's how find functional medicine is to heal themselves. And so yeah, just like Jennifer's and you guys discussed, it's just an extra level of understanding and the relatability. But then there's the other practitioners who see just the whole, you know, purpose of functional medicine and how they can use both avenues, right, they can use the conventional side, as well as you know, the more broad reaching deeper diving, functional medicine approach. And so I mean, that's a whole level, a different level of compassion, or wanting to heal and help people. So it's, it's very far reaching, and it's growing, which is really exciting to see as well. So my question for you, since it seems, you know, your passion is working with business owners, of course, and those business owners who are early in their practice, you know, what are sort of like the common themes, or maybe gaps of that business knowledge that you seem to run into time and time again?
Dr. Z 8:02
Well, you know, I talk to a lot of people, because I mostly work in groups with people. And that's on purpose. There's so many reasons why that's super effective. But I often am introduced to people sort of behind closed doors, I like to say, you know, it's a private call, or it's a video call. And it's good to have a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their concerns. And then I can usually put them at ease so that they're not alone. They feel like they're alone. But almost everyone, regardless of their license, or expertise, or previous success, has some level of imposter syndrome or fear of hurting the patient. So there's that whole thing that we have to work on. And I can resolve that for them pretty, pretty quickly. And then they're worried about how they are going to get new patients? Right, so how do we get people in the door? And will I be able to financially provide for my family? So I would say those are like sort of the three first and connected concerns. As far as gaps. What they don't know is some of them, I'd say the vast majority, I see. Because I get people when they're thinking about going into practice for about the first three years in. So that's the bulk of my client base. So getting them from like zero to seven figures would be most of my people. And a lot of them have never run a business before at all. You know, they had a hospital behind them or they had a private medical practice. And then the ones who have had a business before, they still have their own unique challenges because functional medicine is such a different business. So I really have to like, get them poised for what that looks like. One of my classes I teach I have what's called the minimal to do list to start, which practitioners rave about. It's not that it's an item checklist of everything, you have to do the bare minimum to be open. Because that's one thing, if you come from an entrepreneurial background, you know that you have to have what's called proof of concept, and bring in income and success immediately for a business to work and thrive.
Jennifer Wenzel 10:22
Sure, that minimum viable product that you hear about sometimes, first pulling in some money and then grow?
Dr. Z 10:30
Practitioners don't think about that, they think of maybe building the whole back end and having a perfect container, and they're laying out a ton of cash. And they have, they don't even have the first patient. So I run across so many people like that. So the to do list, it's definitely more than just five items, right? You know, it's very detailed, but it's system by system. So you don't get overwhelmed, and then you're open. And of course, you still work after it. But at least you're operating. And I think that's super important, because I can't tell you how many people I've seen that took course after course and kept trying to set up the perfect thing. And now it's a year later or three years later. And I tell them, not only did they leave so much money on the table, by not working for the last three years, but they just lost three years of experience, because the clinical growth would be incredible. Even if they were just getting started seeing a few patients a week, you're talking about three years and the actual practice versus it's still an idea.
Jennifer Wenzel 11:34
So how do you advise someone who's stuck in that analysis paralysis, or that I don't have enough education? To actually get my first patient? How do you coach or educate them past that point?
Dr. Z 11:46
Well, in the functional medicine Academy, we have a whole certification course. And there's other courses out there like I love IFM. I've gone through IFM, I've taught for them, I highly recommend it and there's other programs that are good. What's nice about FMA is it's very practical, it's very nuts and bolts like this is what you're going to do on Monday, you see this person, think this order this lab use this supplement, you know, it's just, you know, it's like you're cliff notes, to having a functional medicine clinical practice. And so what I tell them is, honestly, there's enough, it's seven classes, one of them is marketing right up your guys' alley. So really, you're talking about six clinical classes. That's everything to cover, I'd say 80 to 90% of every case that would walk in the door. And on top of that someone can start even before they finish all of that, because your patience will drive your knowledge. So if you decide you're going to start, and you want to focus on weight loss, and you know enough about like nutrition and meal plans and lifestyle changes, you can open your doors, great opened your doors, then you have a patient come in who has a little bit more needs a little bit more assistance, maybe with their thyroid care, you're now going to learn what you need to know to catch up on thyroid care. So that's what a good practitioner will do, they'll be honest in the visit. And if something comes up, and they don't know, they're gonna say to that patient, I don't know. But let me go find out. And then they go find out. And patients love that because first of all their doctors being honest with them. Second, how many of your practitioners will actually go and learn something specific to you and figure something out and bring it back and sort of hold you in this container from one visit to the next. Functional Medicine is all about that. And functional medicine is really a partnership, you know, we don't do things to our patients, the same way a physical therapist might or a surgeon might right? So we work with them. And this reinforces that partnership. So ultimately, the practitioner is the expert, translator, and teacher and coach and guide. And that's why I'll be just, you know, fully transparent here for our certification test. It's an open book, because it's not real life to try to test someone based on what they know in a closed room without any resources with a timer. And that's how most of the certification tests are. And they're really stressful. Ours the test, not everyone passes it, some doesn't have to take it multiple times. So it's not a piece of cake. But the goal is can they go find the information? Because if they can go find the answer. I'm not worried about them. That's what they have to do. That's real life. That's what you do when you really run a business and a clinical practice is you go find the answer. So that's a skill set I want them to have
Jennifer Wenzel 14:50
that harkens back to the old school style of education in general as we as we have our children going through the school system how I'm sure At least I am old enough to remember being told many times when I was younger, you'll never have a calculator in your pocket. So you can't use a calculator. Right now, right? Now guess what, we have calculators in our pocket and on our wrist and in front of our face at all times if we so desire, and we can look anything up. So why not use those tools at hand? I think that's very smart. What are some other sort of educational twists that you put into the functional medical medicine Academy to make sure that people are not just prepared mentally and physically for their patience? But also, you know, taking those steps and building that momentum and that learning process? How do you help people transition from being educated to being a practitioner?
Dr. Z 15:49
Okay, honestly, the best thing ever, I'm gonna give them all the resources and information, but the best thing ever I do for them is to get them into practice. That's really it. Because like my mentorships, we have a program called the Mentorship. It's the only one that's real live, it's in real time. And, you know, I could teach them something for a year, or I could get them seeing patients. And then they have questions that happen right then and there. So it's not a theory anymore. You know, someone called me and they filled out this history intake, this looks crazy. What should I do with it? Let's look at it and go through it, or this person came in, and here, you know, here's the test, I ordered. What do these results mean? Let's go through it together. Or I use bioidentical progesterone with this patient, or I used curcumin, this person had a weird reaction? Have you ever seen that before? What should we try instead? So that is absolutely the best way to get them on that steep learning curve is to actually get them into action. And, we do it and I love it. So we actually meet a couple of times a week. So getting them in business is number one, right? And there's, we talked about that minimal checklist to be open, of course, you know, they have to have their license or certification, whatever is, you know, they have to decide, are they in person in case, in that case, they might need a little space, and I'm going to advise them on how to best do a space, or maybe they're doing online, you know, they need a website, there's sort of these minimal things to get going. But I guarantee, there's a lot of things they think they need, and they don't, because everyone
Landy Miyake 17:29
Yeah, I know, we attended one of your webinars that you talked about exactly that. And I mean, so very great information, but just going back to your approach and how you're educating them, and you know, that live program that it's available, it's like when people go to college, right, we spend at least four years in a classroom, student, teacher, right, we write the paper, we take the test, but it isn't until we have the opportunity in that real world setting, whether it be you know, in like a job or an internship, or what have you, any of those kind of outside the school walls, opportunities, because that's experiential learning. And like you said, I mean, that's like an actual person that's not in a textbook that I can come to you and it's real, real life. And so that's, you know, like, the best best way of learning and, yeah, absolutely, as business owners and owners and entrepreneurs, we kind of get caught up in, you know, the, the glitz, or, you know, the aesthetic piece of it, well, I need to have my perfect office, or I need to have my perfect lobby, and I need to have the, you know, all those things, kind of, right, we could open a business. And so we kind of think of all those sort of, you know, tangible physical things, and, you know, kind of lose sight of like, the actual, you know, purpose of it, or what really needs to happen to get this business. Right.
Dr. Z 19:02
I purposely will, we have a closed Facebook group, right, it's all sort of share some behind the scenes stuff. And I'll share like, maybe old pictures of like, the first office or the first hand out, or, you know, the first social media post, you know, it's like cringe worthy. But the point is, you go forth, and you do it -
Jennifer Wenzel 19:24
And you improve as you go.
Dr. Z 19:27
Yeah. And sometimes, quite frankly, you have to have good enough. You don't want perfection to keep you from action. And we're talking about how, you know, highly qualified people, right. And they're used to being experts in their field and doing things perfectly. And now welcome to the world of business, which is new, and then welcome to the world of functional medicine, where everyone might have mostly the same body parts, but everything works differently and unique for that patient. So there is no perfect, there's no protocol that will apply for everyone. And I, I actually teach the toughest level of clinical practice. But I'll teach them how to do it, the easiest way to do it if I teach them the toughest way, so that they can think they can have critical thinking skills individually, for every person who walks in the door, they're going to be the best practitioner ever. And then if they decide they want to do protocol care, I'll help them do it and set it up. But I want to make sure they have those really, you know, challenging skills down. So I love teaching them that and what you were describing, Landy, you know, that's sort of like, that's like residency for my physicians, right? You know, they get out of medical school and think they know everything. And then it's like, you know, they're tossed into a residency and it's absolutely grueling. And you can make an analogy to like the first couple years in business, it's not entirely dissimilar. The advantages is a residency, someone else's in control, you never sleep, the pay is crap. Now building your own business, you will work, no doubt, but you'll get the sleep too, you're in control. And if you build it properly, not only can you be profitable from day one, but you're building your future. Right, so. So it is different in that way.
Jennifer Wenzel 21:15
But let's talk about that a little extra there. Yeah. So you said as long as you know, you're building it, right? You know, your setup, you're setting yourself up for profitability, and success. And one of the topics that we're talking about today with the business of health is rapid scaling for your practice. So tell us a little bit. So you've, you've got a person who's got their functional medicine niche and credentials, and they're practicing. And maybe they've gone a year, two years, they've got a nice little, you know, solid base of clientele. It's time to start thinking about scaling, tell us, tell us what your thoughts and approaches are. for that.
Dr. Z 21:54
That's actually pretty easy. You know, the ones that come in, and they already have a little practice going, we can, we can shake that up and get that together super, super fast. And I actually have steps on my website where it talks about the eight phases of practice growth, because there's a pivotal point that you decide, like, have you built the practice to the level you want? Or do you want to scale, and it's a bit of effort, a little murky, huge reward on the other side, but not everyone wants to go to that level. So it's very important, like, everyone's going to go through level four to five, but whether they go all the way to eight, you know, is absolutely by, you know, by choice. But so many of the people I get, they come in and they don't have anyone in their life. And they say I don't know, anyone I just came out of the hospital, I don't have any patients that I can take with me or, you know, I was an acupuncturist in a different state or, you know, whatever it is. But we can still get them going I, I've done this myself, I've helped others do it where, you know, cash practice, you're only doing patient visits five to seven hours a week, and you're grossing at least a quarter million in sales first year, that for some people, that seems unmanageable. And to me, that's like a minimum, you know, but I put this into a formula. The first question I ask people is, how much do you want to make? Like, what do you need to make, right? How much do you want to make? And how much do you want to work? And then from there, I have a whole formula created, we just put in these numbers that calculates it for them, it will tell them how much their visits should be, what they charge for their visits, what they charge for their programs, how many hours they will work, how often they need to do marketing, how often they need to get on the phone with someone, so then it becomes math. And as long as they're willing to do the work, they're going to be able to count on the results. So I think that's a huge relief. So I know I sort of mixed it in with starting and scaling. But it depends on where they're at.
Jennifer Wenzel 23:58
It sounds like you're giving them a roadmap, a literal series of steps, they just need to follow those steps. And if they make those, if they reach those goals and hit those numbers, do the math. Their success is going to follow from all of the work that they're doing. Because it's just, it literally is a formula.
Dr. Z 24:19
Yes, but customizable, so I want to make sure Jennifer that’s super clear, because there's a lot of people who sell the I don't want to say names, but you know, they've got the “functional medicine formula”, and they only sell one method. And we don't do it that way. Because just like for the patient, let's forget the patient for a minute. Like, we always talk about customizing things for the patient, their genetics, their DNA, you know how everything works for them. But let's just focus on the practitioner for a second, we have to do the same thing. So I have formulas that they can change for themselves. And I like to advise them because they're not going to all create the same practice. And so it's very much my philosophy, what I've done myself, what I've seen work is they have to set up the practice to work for them first. It's just like if you know, Mom's not happy, the kids aren't happy. So they have to set up the practice to work for the work for them first, and then they will find the right patients, right, we have to line things up, you guys understand this, because this is all going into marketing who your ideal client is, and making sure your marketing message is in alignment with what that person needs an urgent need something they're aware of, they don't need to be educated about in alignment with what you offer, right, it creates ease of buying, it brings people in, it's congruent, it's honest, it's ethical. But before we even get there, we have to make sure we take care of that practitioner, and I have some who are working full time, this is their only thing, then give it all their attention, I have some who still have their hospital day job, where they're in ER, on the weekends, or they can only work six, like 10 hours a week because they have a sick family member that they're taking care of. So we can take that kind of information, and use all the tools and customize the formula for them. And I think that's super important.
Landy Miyake 26:17
Yeah, so as I'm, as I'm listening and hearing all this really good stuff. I mean, you truly, you know, do the full gamut, right. And we've talked about easily the tools and the methods, the formulas that you use, and how you're able to customize that to make it work for the practitioner, because I mean, that's a huge thing. You know, for it to work for them. That's why we all want business, right? We kind of, at the end of the day, want something that's going to work for us and something that's going to be true to our hearts and our souls so that we can be authentic, right. And in addition to like the business, the tactical nuts and bolts kind of step by step guides that you offer your you also address the whole like mindset and fear stuff, we talked about this a little bit at the very beginning with, you know, they're, they have a little bit of that impostor syndrome, they're not sure you know, how they're gonna get clients. And so you're even dealing with, you know, fears and scarcity issues and mindset stuff. And so I mean, we've got like, the whole, the whole gamut and money. That's a whole week and bring you back to talk about just money mindsets.
Jennifer Wenzel 27:36
And I just ran into that statistic from the Institute of Functional Medicine that the average functional medicine provider is earning $130,000 a year, which puts them at basically the lowest of all, you know, medical specialties in the field.
Dr. Z 27:51
So it's crazy.
Jennifer Wenzel 27:53
Yep. Yeah. That's the research that came out about within the last year from the IFM. I think only veterinarians, you know, can actually make even less than that on average.
Dr. Z 28:10
Yeah, you know, making your first 100K is a good milestone. But then most people, depending on where they live in the world, but most places in the US, as a practitioner, you need to be making at least $200-300,000, you know, minimum to just cut expenses and make it worth it. Right, you know. So, maybe I've done it and shown people half or 3 quarters of a million, seeing patients anywhere from seven to 12 hours a week, max.
Jennifer Wenzel 28:44
So that sounds like the dream!
Landy Miyake 28:46
Dr. Z 28:49
You spend other hours doing the marketing and the admin, doing the patient prep. It's just, I think it's an important distinction, because some people come out and they're like, Okay, I'm gonna see patients 40 hours a week, I was like, that's not how functional medicine works.
Jennifer Wenzel 29:02
Right, then you're working 80 to 100 to 120 hours a week, if you're doing that.
Landy Miyake 29:08
Yeah. Yeah. So with all of these, you know, modes of, I don't even know the word, the different, you know, approaches that you're teaching from, you know, the mindset to how to set it up to grow and scale. Your most recent project is a webinar event that you're going to be hosting, and very soon, right, so can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Z 29:38
I'm super excited about it, because it's one of my favorite tools. I've used it for over 20 years, and it's called webinar wizard for patient attraction in a weekend in a weekend, and it's a workshop, so it's not just like me as a talking head, but there's actually six sections and there's gaps in between because people are going to be building their own webinars, they're essentially they're like signature talk for patient attraction. And so I'm walking them through each of the steps. And it's something, most people are going to do it online, but you can do it in person too. It's just that the skills are invaluable. The people who come that weekend, once they learn it, they're going to use it forever, they're going to use it in their entire practice. If they ever started another business, they'll probably use it there too, too. It's just such an essential skill set. And it's really your highest return as far as a method for bringing in new patients. So what I find in the functional medicine space is that no one teaches how to do it. They just stick in clinical land, or they don't really cover marketing at all. Or they teach sort of what I consider, like the coaching industry, like a slick speaker type of webinar that I say is like icky, and you feel very sold to like the whole thing seems like a sales pitch. It's gross, ever released wrong, knee jerk reaction to being sold to. And so as someone who was then teaching sales, I had to figure out well, how do we do sales in a way where I need to feel good, before I can even worry about the other person feeling good, because my reaction is so strong. And so I built a whole system based around that. And it works, you know, beautifully. I sleep very well at night. And it really helps the practitioners build community and their patient base quickly. They're positioned as the authority and expert, new patients are going to come in people sign up for new charge consults on the spot, your general -
Jennifer Wenzel 31:55
On the strength of this webinar that you're teaching them how to do?
Dr. Z 31:58
Yes, the strength of this webinar, and but there's so many things like one is, you know, don't waste money over here on Google ads if you don't know how to do them, or it's your first webinar, right? So some people get stuck in that and they don't have your expertise, right? They're doing it on the fly. And it costs a lot of money. And now they're already in the hole before they've started. Or they're borrowing a template from one of those slick agencies, and it's just so salesy, and they're doing NLP, like let's get everyone to say yes, yes, you know, bribe the audience to say yes, throughout. So they'll say yes, when they like, hit them over the head with an offer, and it's so gross.
Jennifer Wenzel 32:43
So let me say that because yes, in the marketing field, we do see that all the time. And we are with you that it's just, it's just gross, it doesn't feel good. It doesn't look good. It may be effective in the short term, but it's also not the kind of relationships that you're talking about building when you want to be in that functional medicine field where so much is built on trust and the connection, that relationship.
Dr. Z 33:05
Exactly, exactly, Jennifer, so what not a lot of people know is this - you know, that middle piece where I wasn't working in healthcare, I was helping healthcare practitioners build their business, but I wasn't practicing. I got so high in the speaking and coaching industry, I got invited into what I call the Eyes Wide Shut parties. The scenes of the true, you know, New York Times Best Selling novelist and other ones who just buy it right, but the true ones and the people who are like, I'm going to take my $5 million a month practice to $40 million a month, you know, this kind of stuff. And I learned a lot in that industry. But I was also grossed out a lot. I just have to be honest. I did not like it and I did not feel good. So when I started my clinic, I was determined to do it differently. And exactly for the reasons you say besides having that knee jerk reaction I don't want to be sold to but also, this is different. This is functional medicine. And there's so many great mentors out there, even my mentor who I love and adore, and it's a $7 million a year business. They don't understand functional medicine. Even if they work with a ton of clients. Functional Medicine is different and it's unique. So quite honestly, I don't know of anyone out there who's had this sort of oddball experience that I've had and teaches in functional medicine because it's not typical that you would go through that. And there's always good things you can take from these other resources like a lot of them. Let me just give you one very specific example. There's someone who markets strictly to functional medicine. I'm still not going to say names because I'm already like, I'm already spilling secrets and pissing off boys right? But there's someone who markets strictly to functional medicine practitioners and teaches them how to build an online course. And what he's teaching is not a bad thing. The problem is he's marketing to people who don't have a practice yet. And he's failing to tell them the truth, which is to market a course like that you need volume. And they don't have volume. So their first step is they have to build their one on one practice, but no one's telling them that because then they would lose some sales. And then that, but they lose good faith, because then that practitioner who spent, you know, 15 grand, and a year trying to build a course that isn't done yet, and there's no audience for it is really disappointed. Versus if it was like, you know, what, for where you're at, we need to fill your one on one practice quickly and efficiently. And then, you know, that gets you experience, right? Like, we're talking about driving that knowledge, that clinical knowledge, that gets you understanding what it's like to be in business, what do you like, and not like? Like, you don't even want to do all the branding before you start? What if you brand yourself as a, you know, specialist in mental health, and then you're like, I hate hanging out with depressed people all day. But you just spent 40 grand on branding, and you want to change your mind, right? So it gets people going, they learn what they like, they don't like they're making money, they're building their community, they're building their list, their volume, their patient base, now is a great time for that course. Right? Well, I love
Landy Miyake 36:25
Yeah, I love that, and thank you so much for bringing that example to us. Because that is, again, just shows, you know, the whole approach that you take, that we also share in is truly what's best for the practitioner. You know, yes, we're a digital marketing agency, of course, we're business like any other, right, we would like to make some money, all the things, right. But at the end of the day, you know, we, you know, one of our core values is integrity. So we always come back to that, when we're, we're doing our thing. And so, you know, we're not going to say if this company is, you know, limited budget, super new, still trying to, you know, get their ducks in line, right? You know, we're not teaching them how to build their business in the way that you are, you know, we're talking about marketing, but we're not going to be like, yo, you need these five digital marketing things right now, even though you -
Jennifer Wenzel 37:25
And it will have a $7,500 a month investment.
Landy Miyake 37:30
That’s not gonna be productive or helpful for them. Because, right, they haven't established those baseline things.
Dr. Z 37:39
Exactly. Well, and you guys are lucky, you're honest, you have high integrity, you also have many tools you can pull from. So that's great. You can serve people at different levels. But like that example, I was giving, they taught one thing, you know, but they don't want to say this is really an advanced, you know, show on the road model. They just wanted to sell it to everyone. And that's also part of what I was saying is sort of icky. About the coaching-speaking online space. And functional medicine providers are like, wait a minute, I just want to be the doctor or the nurse. And now all of a sudden, I'm in this online space, what does it mean? But yeah, turning people into numbers, that doesn't, that doesn't feel good. And doesn't it doesn't have to be that way. So I think I've proven that many, many times. But you know, going back 15 years in those meetings, they would, they would tell you otherwise, right? This is the only way and it's not the case, we can really customize a practice for that practitioner. Same way we customize a protocol for a patient.
Jennifer Wenzel 38:45
So since we were just kind of touching on some marketing concepts, and the sort of proper flow of the way that you should build and market your business, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a new practitioner in their first year of practice, in terms of marketing priorities, you know, where should they? What should they be doing that early on in their practice development, and what can wait for another year or two?
Dr. Z 39:14
Well, part of that is answered by what they have to do in their business first, and like I said, they have to fill their one on one patient base first. That doesn't mean they can't sell programs, or packages, or even memberships. So they can build their one on one hours and still put it together in a group or package. That's fine. But to tell them they're going to create a program online and make money while they sleep. But they don't have a client base yet. That's unrealistic. So I just want to clarify that also. So depending on how they start, I mean, we're getting into sort of like some of the basics, but you know, they need to have at least a minimal website like at least a one page website. I'm sure you do, you know different levels. Some websites for the clients are coming to you. So having at minimum, a one page website that says you know who they are, how to get a consult with them or an initial visit, like you want a low barrier to entry. So depending on whether they have a high price concierge practice, there for sure, or a high price program there for sure we're going to be doing no charge consults. And we have to have a marketing name for that, that flows with the concept. And they're going to be on the phone talking to people, or if they are doing one on one, you know, pay per visit fee for service visits, then they need to have like a low barrier to care a low cost to get the foot in the door to be able to, you know, the patients auditioning the practitioner, you know, do they like them? Do they trust them? Is this a good fit? Do I think they can help me? So establishing these things, a minimal marketing branding concept, not something we have to like, chiseled in stone, but a minimum, like what would you like to do for the first three to six months? Right? So we can get the ball rolling, and then we can start to discover more about what you actually like. So you know, the people who are going to drop, I mean, I just tell you, for myself, like I didn't spend 40 grand on branding until, you know, at a seven figure business, right? It didn't make sense to do it before then. So some of those decisions, you have to time them, but you still need to know, like, Who's your ideal client going to be at least to get started. I mentioned the character code system, that personality profiling that I created, I'm actually teaching that in a VIP session for the people coming to the webinar beforehand. Because it has such an advantage for marketing and branding. It'll just give him a leg up for the weekend. But sometimes my practitioners are like, I don't know yet, what area I want to specialize in. I'm like, that's okay. You know, it's always nice when it's like, I'm going to be the teenage acne person, right? That's really specific, we can build that quickly. I know you guys love that, because now you can get into marketing keywords, right? There's things we do. But when I started this last practice, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do either. And so I use the character codes to focus on who I want. Did I want to hang out with patients during the day. And then I could pick my colors and my name and my language to match that person. So they felt welcome. And you'll get a little bit of everyone, but at least about 80% or so will be your ideal patient. But however you do it, right? The there's so much out there, there's so much clutter, there's so much noise, you have a few seconds to grab their attention, you're not going to compete with massive websites and massive industry and, and nor should you you're not going to compete with the hospital, you're not going to compete with parsley, or with a called forward or, or whatever it is, you know, these like industrial, functional medicine businesses that are cropping up, don't even try, you'll make yourself crazy, don't bother. But you do need to have a very clear message that aligns with who that practitioner is, what is it they want to offer, who that ideal patient is, what they need, and it has to be an urgent need that they're aware of. So that when they catch that glimpse of your message going by, they go oh my gosh, I feel heard.
Jennifer Wenzel 43:42
That's my person, they are talking to me?
Dr. Z 43:44
Yes, I'm gonna go with - like Landy knows what I'm dealing with. I'm calling Landy you know, that's, that's what needs to happen. And quite frankly, getting that in order is much more important than having the perfect doctor's bag or the perfect wallpaper, or the nice in your favorite town. Or people are gonna be shocked that I say this or sometimes even business entities. So some licenses, you have to get a professional LLC to even start, some you don't. And if they don't have, if it's not a legal requirement, they don't have some huge estate that they have to protect. They're just getting going, then get going. You know, you'll end up becoming an entity six months in or a year in. So there's a lot of things like that where people think it's essential and we have to look at it and what's in the best interest to actually grow your practice and bring you into profit and build on your clinical experience though. Those are the important questions.
Jennifer Wenzel 44:52
But you have a book that actually helps walk people through that right at the beginning.
Landy Miyake 44:59
Of course I didn't think to bring it with me. But I have that book too. Yes.
Dr. Z 45:07
Yes, it’s available - “How to Read a Client from Across the Room,” and it's very much marketing and sales. And so next Thursday, I'm teaching it but I'm teaching it differently. I am teaching the practitioner to patient communication, and also how you use it for staffing. And then your, like, marketing, branding of your website, that type of thing. So that's the way I'm going to cover it. Some of that stuff has never been published before. So it's very specific to functional medicine. But I'm super excited for this weekend. I, I break all the rules. I just spill a lot of secrets I give up front. You know, some people might come in that weekend, and I never see them again, they'll never become a paid client. That's okay. I want to make sure that they got a ton of value from that weekend, and they leave with a skill that's gonna last them for a lifetime. And then there's some people who say, Yeah, I like hanging out with Dr. Z. I know I can count on her to get my business going. Let's do it. Fabulous. But yeah, I always err on the side of too much content. So I purposely built in breaks. So people get to be, you know, they get to work on it, and customize it for themselves.
Jennifer Wenzel 46:36
What is this program called? Yeah, sorry, I just wanted to know the name again,
Dr. Z 46:40
The Webinar Wizard in a Weekend, okay. And the link is tiny url.com/webinar wizard. So you can check that out. But the other thing I did, and this was this was to help everyone going through the weekend, but also, because there's trainings like this all the time, right? Whether it's clinical or marketing, or business or, or even like how to be a good parent, right? So people go through these trainings, and they get what I call post event syndrome. And there's specific things that happen during the event at some time, they get excited, and they want to do all these things. And then they get overwhelmed, or they compare themselves to someone else, why am I not where that person is, and they start beating themselves up. And, a lot of times what happens is a couple days, two weeks later, they're done with the experience, and they didn't get any action out of it. So three days after the event, I'm teaching them how to deal with post event syndrome, so they can get the most out of the event we just had. But also they're gonna have great skill sets. That's what I use, I had to develop the system a long time ago, because I do a lot of training too, right. So it's what I use for every event, I go into and, and then they'll, they'll have a great tool set, and just get a better experience out of all their training.
Jennifer Wenzel 48:01
That's amazing. Because as I'm sure every single person watching this can identify with that feeling when you do a training, you get excited, you know, I'm going to absolutely change my entire worldview and the trajectory of my life path with this information. And then two months later, you're like, oh, my gosh, what? What was it that I learned? What was I going to implement? I honestly don't remember, I should look it up sometime. And then you never do, you don't go back. So, so smart to think about that, that follow through and tying the pieces into a bow to really make it something that you can implement and that you make a plan off of.
Dr. Z 48:38
Yes, that it will become perfectly workable. So I'm really excited about that. Because sometimes people ask me, like, how do you do this stuff? You do? You've got your life so together and I'm like, are you kidding me? I am like, I am such a flawed human like everyone else. But we can still make tons of forward motion. And I teach how to do that skill set. You don't have to be the you know, I'm a perfect person, I get up at 3am and train for my marathon and life is amazing. And I'm not that person. So if you want to have a multiple six, seven figure business even work remotely like I don't know if you guys know I moved to the tropics now. So I don't want to be in the sun all the time. You have a lot of freedom and you don't have to be a perfect person to be able to, you know, grow and progress imperfectly and be able to provide for your family and have a life. You know, have fun doing it too.
Landy Miyake 49:39
Yeah, I love that. And, you know, I think I'm hearing the theme of your teaching style, and that really is, you know, action above all else and experience right and, you know, we're not always going to feel like it. Trust me, I tell Jennifer this at times. I don't, you know, feel like doing XYZ, right? And, you know, but the whole thing about it and being successful or creating something, and that could be personal life, business life, family life, you know, it's just do it, you know? And yes, perfect inaction is better than no action, right? Recovering perfection. That's like my new mantra, right, like just done is better than perfect.
Dr. Z 50:39
I also, I teach about covering mindset, you know, just like when you deal with patients, you deal with a whole patient. So when I deal with practitioners, I deal with the whole practitioner. Okay, so I took research from like the four best published experts out there on things like habit formation, getting things done, how do we complete tasks, so I put that into a training for my practitioners, I gave them handouts, so they could actually teach their patients. Because if we can teach, we can develop better skills for breaking a habit or making a habit, our patients are going to get better results. And one of the things in there is that people have different learning styles, and they have different ways of getting things done. So I'll also teach how to identify which one you are and how to set up your life to work it because some people are like, nibble at the task a little bit each day. And some people are, you know, ignore, ignore, do it all in one day, you know, so we can have different, you know, some people are very deadline driven, you know, we can, we can have these different styles, we just want to identify who we are, and then set up our life so we can win, right?
Jennifer Wenzel 51:49
I love that you identify that. And honestly, that's the power of a team to which I know is that you clearly are building a community and a team of people that can support each other. You support the people who take the classes from you and you give out tons of free resources and advice. You know, just because you are that kind of person who wants to help build and grow the industry and the people who work in that industry. And it's so great when people because both Landy and I identify with those two different kinds of people you just mentioned, and one of the reasons that we work together so well is because we do have those differences, and we very much complement each other. So I'm sure that the live component of your program or programs, where you get to meet with them and help them implement the learning that they're getting from you and customize it to their own specific needs and learning styles. Do you have like, like a mastermind group or a group collective where people can sort of bounce ideas off of each other? Or, you know, to get that sort of multiple sense of strength? We're all building a business together kind of feel?
Dr. Z 53:03
Yes, we have. So we have the mentorship which I already mentioned. And we keep that group relatively small, but they become tight knit super supportive, all different licenses in there. That's my favorite. It's in real time. It's real nitty gritty love. We also have the network, which does like one big annual event a year, a couple socials here and there, they get promoted on our website. So for patients coming, they can see oh, here's a practitioner in an area near me. So the network is like a low cost option to get in the community. It doesn't have that depth of content that the other programs do. It's more like social connection promotion. But that's an option. We have a closed Facebook group. So anyone who does any of our programs will be in the closed Facebook group and they connect there. So that's nice. But yeah, there's some programs where we recorded them live but they're not live. They're just available online now. So like the academy, they have instant access, and people are doing a great job getting certified through there. We also have what's called the master class, we have three of those. One is practice setup, all about getting started. Seven hours of me teaching you exactly what to do to get started and resources. Yeah, exactly. That's where that lives and honestly, it's worth the money just for that. And then practice growth. This is your expertise land, right seven hours of marketing for functional medicine practitioners and then practice systems, which I always say doesn't sound sexy, right? But that's where the gold is. Because it's everything from calendaring to emails to staffing to automation to scheduling to finances. As we even get into things like taxes, estate building, your exit plan, you sell your practice later. So the practice system is the one that allows me to take off a month at a time. So once people get that it’s gold.
Jennifer Wenzel 55:16
I know we're just about ready to wrap up, tell people how they can learn more about both, you know, this, the functional medicine Academy and these amazing immersive programs, these big programs you have. And then also, you know, this upcoming weekend webinar extravaganza webinar wizard, which I did put the little link in your, in your picture, there it is. So people can go to tinyurl.com/webinar Wizard for the upcoming education event, but tell us how they can find out more about you and the offerings and the teachings that you can provide.
Dr. Z 55:48
So if you go to TheDrZ.com, you're gonna see everything and you can walk through it. It's a very, because there's a lot of facts and a lot of nitty gritty in the work we do. And it's very easy to be over serious with it. I like to have fun. Like we have to laugh through life. So there's a lot of humor in that site. It also I like people to see it. So they know like, are they going to be comfortable here, you know, because not every mentor is for every person. But even at the bottom, there's what I call vanity cards, because oh my gosh, you know, you get tired of talking about yourself. Let me tell you, so when it's like, it's gonna be on every page, I thought I'm bored already. So like Chuck Lorre wrote vanity cards at the end of a sitcom. So that's what I turned it into. And I wrote all of those crazy stories and they little excerpts from life and business. And so you really get a sense of who I am as the mentor and teacher and experience. And of course, you get all the facts about what the classes are. So it's all there. But we try. We try to make learning fun. It's going to last and stick in my opinion, if it can also be fun.
Landy Miyake 57:02
Smart. Absolutely, absolutely. Well, thank you so so much for your time, and your wisdom and just all of the amazing knowledge you dropped on us today. We got so much value then an hour later. It was and it's so much information. I can't wait to actually go back and rewatch it myself. Thank you so much.
Dr. Z 57:31
All right. I appreciate what you do. Thanks for having me here. Everyone have a great afternoon!
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