On this episode, guest host Kristen Brokaw interviews Chris Smith, founder of Campfire Effect™. Campfire Effect™ is a company that teaches entrepreneurs how to talk about their work in a way that is as powerful and impactful as the work itself. Chris shares some tips on the best ways to brand and message your practice, and explains how doing this successfully affects both your patients and your team. If you are thinking about your practice’s story and how to message it, then you won’t want to miss what Chris has to share!

Highlights include:

  • Sharing your story as a practitioner and digging deeper into the reason why you started your practice
  • How to take the next step in creating your message and branding with your entire staff to create the “campfire effect”
  • The “5Ms” and how they can impact your practice framework
  • And so much more!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Business of Functional Medicine: Campfire Effect

James Maskell: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs in health technology, as well as practical tools to help you transform your practice and the health of your community. This podcast is brought to you by the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center, who provide a range of options to help you deliver successful, effective, functional, and integrative medicine. To find out more and to get started, go to goevomed.com/lmrc. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc.

Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week, we continue our series on the business of functional medicine. And this episode is hosted by Kristen Brokaw.

This week, we are talking to Chris Smith. He is the founder of the Campfire Effect™ and has helped dozens of practitioners that I know personally in the space on their branding and particularly their message. It’s called the Campfire Effect™ because it’s like, how do you get your practice to be talked about around the campfire?

Chris is going to go into more details about that and is going to drop a lot of wisdom for any practitioner looking to make a brand that can take functional medicine mainstream. It’s going to be a great show. Enjoy.

Kristen Brokaw: Oh, Chris Smith, I’m so excited to be here with you today. This is Chris Smith from the Campfire Effect™. And Chris, you are known for helping entrepreneurs, specifically in the health space, really tell their story, something that they’re not used to doing and really making an impact and actually enrolling their patients into a new possibility, enrolling them and really kind of vetting out and getting the right kind of patients too, right? So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you do?

Chris Smith: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, first of all, for having me. I love anytime I can share something that might make a difference for purpose-driven, mission-focused, heart-centered practitioners that really truly change people’s lives. Yeah, it’s an honor for me.

So we often work with healthcare practitioners who know that what they do is really unique. That’s really clear to them. They’re like, “We know that we do something different. We know that we do something really unique,” but the frustration is they also recognize that they may not be talking about what they do in a way that is as powerful as what they actually do.

So there’s this disconnect, right? It’s like we have this really amazing thing and this really amazing way we do it, but we seem to talk about it like everyone else. And it’s frustrating, so it kind of creates this gap.

So we believe that the most powerful thing you have as a practitioner is to grow and scale your income and your impact and build your business, is your story and your message.

If you think about it, your story and your message is unlike anything else related to growth in your business, and oftentimes I think that gets missed. I think we compare story messaging to all the other things in our business when really it’s completely different.

So what I mean by that is we’ve had practitioners over the years, they’ll be like, “So Chris, I’m not sure if we should invest in our story and our message right now, or if we should rebrand our website. I’m not sure if we should invest in our story and our message right now, or do an online course. I’m not sure if we should do our story and message right now, or private label supplements.”

I’m like, “Well, I think you’re comparing apples and oranges because see, your story and your message is the one thing that actually sits at the bottom of all of those things. Guess what makes your marketing and branding effective? Your story and your message. Guess what makes the private labeling of supplements and selling those effective? Your story and your message.”

So it’s the only thing I’ve ever been able to identify, Kristen, in the business that literally touches and drives everything related to growth. I can’t find another thing in the business, like one thing that by improving it, it can improve everything.

When I realized that about story and messaging, I even was like, “Man, this is more important than even I’ve been talking about it,” because your story and your message impacts marketing, sales, branding. It impacts culture. It impacts who you hire and onboard.

So that’s kind of our mission is to really get these practitioners to really take a stand for that story and that message and use it in the most intentional way in everything they do, so they can create more income and more impact and change more people’s lives.

Kristen Brokaw: I’m so moved by that. I, too, always asked my doctors like, “Well, tell me a little bit about yourself.” And once you dig deeper, because they’re never going to just kind of tell you right at first, but you realize that there’s so much depth there, yet they’re not telling the story because they were trained, “It’s not about you.”

Chris Smith: Yeah.

Kristen Brokaw: And so why is that like the biggest shooting themselves in the foot kind of action?

Chris Smith: Yeah. I mean, the reason it’s so limiting is because the only thing you have as a practitioner to differentiate yourself, in my opinion, is two things: you, and your approach or your method, which we’ll talk about later, but here’s what’s interesting.

I’m assuming the majority of the practitioners, Kristen, watching this would identify with like either being a functional medicine doctor or an integrative medicine doctor or regenerative. Would you agree?

Kristen Brokaw: I would agree.

Chris Smith: Okay. So think about this. That’s kind of interesting. I started saying this to practitioners over the years and it kind of like causes them to be like, “Wow, you’re right. I never thought of it that way.”

We…As a holistic, I shouldn’t say we, because I’m not one, but I consider myself part of the community. But as a holistic healthcare practitioner, you would never prescribe to someone, “Hey, I think you should just dig below the surface, find out the symptoms and then go get some medication to treat the symptoms.” Right? That’s everything that holistic practitioners are against.

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: But yet that’s the same approach that they often take with their own story and their own message. What if we took a functional integrative regenerative approach to our story and our message and our marketing, just like we do in healing patients?

Kristen Brokaw: Okay.

Chris Smith: What if we actually dug down really deep to the root cause of why we became a practitioner, just like you dig down to the root cause of finding out what’s having someone not be well.
Dig way past just marketing and branding and taglines to like, “What is this really all about for me? What’s the calling behind this? What do I want to be known for? Why did I really even become a practitioner in the first place?”

Chris Smith: So we dig down and we uncover that, and then we can take this integrative approach and start to use that story in everything. And then it has this regenerative effect where it starts to grow our business.

So the joke I like to make with practitioners is we take an allopathic approach to our story and messaging, when we would never do that with our patients, meaning we dig just below the surface, we don’t dig super deep, we kind of find a message in a story, then we throw medication at it in the form of marketing. And when it doesn’t work, we just find a different medication for the symptom.

But it’s like, just like we would never heal a patient that way, we’ll never heal our story and our message that way. And so we’re leaving so much on the table by not digging deep because it’s not really…you’re right, though. It’s like, they’ve been taught like, well, no one cares about your story, but yeah, they do care about your story.
They want to connect with you. They want to trust you. They want to know why you became a practitioner because that gives them the confidence that you can actually help them or your team can help them.

Kristen Brokaw: Right. Right. I would love to hear about any case studies from some of the clients you’ve worked with who’ve done that exact thing and came back to you and said, “Oh my gosh, you’re never going to believe this, but…”

Chris Smith: So there’s one that comes to mind right away. I love her story. Her name is Sheila Kilbane. She’s an integrative pediatrician in North Carolina. And when she came to work with us, she had the same frustration that I shared at the beginning. She knew that she was different. She knew that she was unique. Like she knew that she did something with children that most pediatricians might not do.

But her frustration was…she was like, “I don’t know how to say that.” So no one knows me like for how powerful I really am. So we just, again, the very first thing…before we got in the marketing, before we got into branding, before we got into positioning, which I kind of consider like the medication that can be effective, we got really deep on, “What is this about for you, Sheila? Why did you become a practitioner in the first place? What do you want to be known for?”

She told us a story about being a young girl, going to a doctor’s office that her parents had, the family doctor, gray-haired gentlemen. Never looked her in the eye, never talked to her, but talked about her to her parents. So like she had no voice or no say in her own health.

She remembers how vulnerable that made her feel and uncomfortable that made her feel. And she just didn’t feel comfortable with whole situation. And so she made a decision at an early age that she’s going to grow up someday and become a doctor and like actually let kids have a voice and have a say.

That alone though, was amazing. And I’m like, “Sheila, how often do you tell that story to patients? How often do you tell that story to moms when they bring their kids in?” And I already knew the answer. And she was like, “Never.”

I’m like, “So the whole reason you’re a practitioner, the whole reason you became a pediatrician, the whole reason you feel so called to serve children, you didn’t ever share that story.” And she was like, “No.”

I was like, “You probably don’t ever share it with your staff.” And she’s like, “No.” So the only thing we did is we uncovered that, brought that story to life. And then what she got really clear on is like, “Yeah, I want to be that voice for children. So how would I do that?” And we helped her brand her process.

So another thing that we’re really big on with practitioners is the two things that make you unique as who you are and how you do what you do. Not what you do, because what you do is kind of the same as everyone else. It’s how you do it, the way, the method.

So we helped her create the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms,” and she trademarked that. So now she has this branded approach. She’s like, “Not only am I saying I’m unique, but I can back it up with this framework I created called the ‘7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms.’”

She just landed a book deal with a major publisher to write the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms.” She created an online course called the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms.”

So much has just come out of that. But we got to the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms” through her story first. Right? Like we dug really deep, and what is this all about for you?

So we branded her and we branded her method and she’s grown the revenue of her practice six times. She just does amazing things.

Then when we asked her that question, “What do you want to be known for?” The language we ended up, because she wants to serve moms, children, and other practitioners. So what we landed on for her…what she wants to be known for is she says, “I’m a voice for children, an ear for moms and a solution for other pediatricians.”

Kristen Brokaw: Wow.

Chris Smith: But it’s just digging a little deeper. I’m not pulling things out of these people out of these practitioners that they don’t already have inside of them. Just like most practitioners have told me, “Yeah. I believe that most people know can heal themselves. We just have to help them find out what it is and get down to the root cause.”

So I guess in a way, I feel like we’ve become kind of a functional integrative regenerative coaches and consultants to someone’s story and message.

Kristen Brokaw: Right. Right. So I’m curious about her staff as well. Tell me, what did that do for her staff?

Chris Smith: Well, I think it’s really difficult, Kristen. A lot of times for team members in a clinic or practice, I think it’s difficult for them to be any more connected to the brand than the practitioner is.
So if the practitioner has never really told them what this is really about for them and why they’re a practitioner and what the clinic really means to them or the practice, it’d be pretty difficult for one of the team members to articulate that as well. Right?

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: But when a practitioner can say like, look, I want you to know why I do this. And not just like a statement about my purpose or my why. No. I’m going to tell you my life story, like why I do this and how my life led me here. I want you to know what this really means to me…what I want to be known for and why I feel so called to do this.

When that’s created in a way that Sheila could do with her team, they’re like, “Oh my gosh.” They see Sheila in a way they’ve never seen her before, even though they’ve worked with her for a long time. Right?

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: They see the deeper meaning behind it, which also automatically has them start looking for it for themselves. And it’s so much easier to help them connect theirs to it when you, as the practitioner, have demonstrated it first.

So imagine the power of that in a company culture where everyone can actually identify like, “Yeah, I kind of know why I’m here. I know how my life has led me here. It wasn’t just by accident. It’s not just because this is a great place to work. I’m really called to something bigger here.”

Or in doing that exercise, you might realize that a team member doesn’t feel that way. Not that that’s right or wrong, good or bad, but it’s like, “Hey, maybe this might not be the most aligned fit.”

If you don’t feel like you’re really called to be here and it’s not the best thing for you, or you don’t feel like this is just a good job for you, it doesn’t mean someone would have to go, but it would be good to know that as the owner; because now when you have a team of people that are like really lit on fire to be there and see how their lives led them there and they have the story and the message to convey that, it’s like, you can’t stop growth from happening.

Kristen Brokaw: Absolutely. I mean, I’ve actually even asked the offices like, “Oh, what is your mission or vision,” or pharmacies or whatever. And a lot of times they’re like, “Yeah, we’ve got one.” And like I said, I might even be talking to the owner.

Chris Smith: They’re like, “Hold on. I got to go look it up.” It’s like, “No, that’s a problem. If we have to go look up our mission or our vision, that’s a problem.

Kristen Brokaw: That’s a problem. And so I bet at office, the staff members could recite who they are, or who we are as a team or who we are as an organization, right?

Chris Smith: Yeah. And kind of playing on that analogy of the campfire, the thing we often talk about is if you help the owner of the practice…like in this case, Sheila. If you help Sheila get really clear on the thing she feels called to do and her mission and how her life led her here, like that deeper meaning, it creates a spark, like this really powerful spark.

But if that’s the only thing that happens and it doesn’t get translated to the team, eventually that spark will go out. But if that spark gets passed onto the team, now you’ve created a fire. Now you’ve added fuel to that spark. Now it can actually be something that grows and spreads and it can be sustainable.

So the mistake we see a lot of practitioners making is they themselves just aren’t getting down to this depth of really making this clear enough for themselves, and then they’re definitely not passing it on to their team.

It’s all in your interest as an owner of a clinic or a practice to do that because look, just Sheila alone seeing those things gave her more confidence for herself of like, “I really am meant to do this, and I really do have something unique, and this really is my calling.” So it’s the thing I’m meant to do.

But then a lot of the practitioners we work with, they have a desire to someday kind of like be less involved in the practice and it still runs profitably. Well, that’s much more likely to do with a team that truly connected to the mission. They really can see how they’re part of it.

Kristen Brokaw: Right. Oh gosh. I can only imagine what her practice is like. I mean, like I said, I work with so many different types of practices. So let’s talk about how you take that a step further.
Okay. We’re on fire, right? We’ve got our vision down and everybody in the team’s sold. Now, I’ve heard you talk about how we convey that to patients in a way that’s nobody’s selling anything, because like doctors, they definitely don’t want to be salespeople, but that we’re really like enrolling people and enrolling them, like the right patient and also probably saying no to the wrong patient. Let’s talk about that.

Chris Smith: Yeah. I love that. So we call it really the 5 Ms.

Mission, which we’ve talked a lot about. What do you want to be known for? What’s the calling?

Message, which we’ve talked a little bit about. So one of the things that we talk a lot about, Kristen, is that messaging and story are two different things. So your story is how your life led you here, and then your message is how do you do what you do in a way that’s unique and different?

I think sometimes we throw a story and message out there, like one and the same. So, but if you think about it, my story is my story. It’s the story of my life. It’s who I am as a human being and how my life led me to this place of feeling so called to do this. But then out of that story, a message needs to get translated that can be repeatable by everyone. That differentiates us.

So Mission, Message, then Market. We’ve become, and maybe out of necessity over the years, really good at helping practitioners get absolute clarity on who they feel most called to serve because you can’t ask over here, “What do I feel called to do and what’s this about for me,” without also asking, “Who do I feel most called to say it to?”

So you can have the most clear market in the world, but if you don’t have a message that’s powerful, you’re going to be limited. You can also have the most powerful message in the world, but if you’re not really clear on who your market is…but when those things come together, when the message and the market meet each other powerfully and you go all in, right?

So Mission, Market, Message….Method. Method is like the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms.” It’s that methodology, that framework, the process. And so really, that’s the biggest thing when we talk about, we have this message, that’s great. We have this mission, that’s great. But that’s really only like the first part of it. Now, how do we really go out and articulate this? How do we say this to the right people?

And the one thing I want to caution practitioners against is when I say the right people, I’ve made the mistake of picking my target market, my dream client based off of where I could make the most money. I’ve done it based off of where I think there’s the most opportunity.

But every time I finally learn the hard way, and I finally realize, “Okay, why don’t we pick our target market and our dream client based off of who we feel most called to serve and who will make the biggest difference for us. Sometimes they’re the same, but choosing your target patient based off of where there is the most opportunity and the most money is different than choosing your target patient off of who you feel most called to serve and make a difference for. It’s just going to be more aligned.

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: You’re actually going to love serving. I can’t tell you the number of entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the years. Like, “Yeah, we make a lot of money and we do well, but I don’t like working with the people we work with.” It’s like, well, that’s not worth it. Right?

Kristen Brokaw: It’s not sustainable.

Chris Smith: So that really is like, I don’t think we can be obsessed enough and clear enough about who we really should be serving and be an inch wide and a mile deep and go all in on a group of people.

So another example is a functional medicine chiropractor, Dr. Tom Rofrano in Florida. And he was so funny because we helped them with his story and his message. We helped him create the “Functional and Free Framework,” kind of like Sheila’s “7 Steps to Happy Kids and Happy Moms.”

Got him really clear in what this is all about. He’s like, “Chris, you’ve got to help me with my patient consultations, man.” He’s like, “They’re supposed to go 30 minutes. They always go 45 minutes to an hour. My staff’s always mad at me. I back up the flow of the office. I’m just long-winded in there. I offer like 1,100 solutions. The patient gets all confused in there and he needs to go home and take a nap.” You know?

Kristen Brokaw: He’s classic.

Chris Smith: Yeah, just like your classic. He’s like, “We have to talk. They eventually become a patient. We have to talk with them three or four times.”

What was cool though, is when he could go in there and we taught them how to succinctly go in and tell his story, why he does this. Listen to their story about what it is they want most what they’re struggling with, and then show them how he would solve that problem through the “Functional and Free Framework.” We just simplified it and he said it went from running over to always finishing on time.

And he said, “I would take an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. I had my ‘Functional and Free Framework’ on there with the recommended treatment plan. I just hand them one sheet of paper, and I would just say, ‘Here’s how we can help you. And here’s what I think would make the biggest difference for you.'”

He’s like, “My appointments are ending on time. Our new patient enrollment went up 35%, which gave us the confidence to raise our prices 25%. So it wasn’t anything that we didn’t already know. We just hadn’t packaged it up in a way that made it easy for people to say yes.”

So that’s the thing that I would really, in this idea of presenting it, is are you making it really easy for that patient you want to work with? It’s really important. You want to work with them because they’re your dream client/patient. Are you making it easy for them to say yes?

The way we make it easy for them to say yes is one message that drives one offer. Maybe we give them an option on how to pay, but what’s happening with a lot of practitioners is there are a few different messages in the consultation. And at the end, it’s like, “Well, you could do this, or you could do this, or you could do this.” And confused minds and do nothing.

But if it’s like, “Look, here’s who I am. Here’s how my life led me here. Here’s the method I created. And here’s the thing I would recommend based off of hearing your story that I think would make the biggest difference for you.”

I don’t think any of us intentionally would ever want to make it difficult for someone to say yes, but I’ve done the same thing. In an effort to try and help them, I come up with all these ideas and different ways we could serve them and I’m trying to help, but all I’m doing is confusing them with too many options. So when I finally realized like, one offer behind one message. Right?

Now if that offer is a no, then maybe I could think of something else, but in the beginning, I’m not going to give them a bunch of options on how to work with me. It’s like, “This is the way you work with me. I’m recommending that,” if that makes sense.

Kristen Brokaw: Did you say there were four or five?

Chris Smith: Five. So, Mission, Message, Market, Method, and the last one is the Medium. What I mean by medium is like, Facebook’s a medium, Instagram’s a medium, YouTube a medium. All these different channels, mediums, like email marketing.

One of the things…I think it’s becoming like (I hate to use this word) a pandemic almost in the healthcare space, which is like, I can’t tell you the number of healthcare practitioners that come to our coaching program that coming in are like, “Yeah, I just spent $8,000 on this training over here on how to do funnels, and it didn’t quite turn out. And I spent another $3,000 over here on how to build an online course. And I’ve got that.”

It’s like this inch-deep, mile-wide, spread thin, trying to try to monetize on all these different mediums, none of them working. And our advice is, “Hey, let’s scrap all of that. Not forever. Let’s just put it aside, not scrap it. Let’s set it aside, and let’s get really clear on what this is really about for you, what you feel called to do, what you want to be known for. Let’s get really clear on what your message is. Let’s get really clear on who your market is. Let’s get really clear on your method. I promise you, if you do those things, the most aligned method will present itself.”

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: Or it’s kind of like going, it would kind of be the approach of like…it’s kind of like what happens in the allopathic traditional world, where we meet with someone for five minutes and like, “Oh, I know what’s wrong with you. Here’s some medication.”

It’s like, no, no. We haven’t dug deep enough yet by any means to start prescribing. But that’s what’s happened to a lot of practitioners. They get on a call with someone and the dream of like building a funnel, for example, and just having it automatically run on Facebook ads and like selling this digital program at the end and tens of thousands of dollars a month showing up is so alluring, but it never happens.

So we get sold on these short-term…again, I kind of view them as medications. And it’s like, “Now, am I a believer in mediums and marketing?” Totally. I run Facebook ads and I do email marketing, but I did those things a while after having the foundation in place.

So that’s a really confusing and overwhelming thing for a lot of practitioners. They just feel like they’re spread thin, chasing kind of all the shiny objects, trying to do everything at once.

Our advice is just like, “Man, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.” You can pick a medium that’s really aligned with you. And I can’t tell you at the beginning, if it’s Facebook or Instagram or referrals or email marketing, but we’ll just let the process kind of organically reveal to us like, “It seems like this is where most of your business would come from.”

Kristen Brokaw: That’s just baffling to me. I love that approach. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have with doctors that they’ll say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got to really work on my Facebook.” And just like you said, it’s like they’re starting at the very…the last thing first.

Chris Smith: Yeah. But it’s so tempting. I’ve done it. Because all of the promise behind all of these different mediums, right? Digital marketing and advertising and PR and radio, and email marketing. The promise behind all of it is growth, revenue. We’re going to reach more people make more money. So that’s why we get so sucked into that.

Chris Smith: But I can’t tell you the number of practices we’ve talked to that, like they’re spending tens of thousand dollars a month on those types of things. And I’m like, “Okay, tell me about your referral program, the intentional process you guys have in place where you ask for a referral every single time? They’re like, “We don’t have that.”

It’s like something…some of the lowest hanging fruit that they could be using to grow their practice and get more patients, they’re not doing, but they’re out building courses and funnels. They’re just putting the cart way ahead of the horse.

Sometimes, I know this is an extreme case, but last week I talked to a practitioner that she was newer in her practice. Hadn’t even really established herself and bought a $25,000 mentoring/coaching program on how to brand and position herself. She did it all and at the end, she was like, “Yeah, this isn’t me.”

We talk a lot about amplifiers and clarifiers. So there’s things that are meant to clarify, and then there’s things that are meant to amplify.

So branding, marketing, speaking, webinars, funnels, all those things are amplifiers, right? They’re meant to take a message and amplify it. And they work…fortunately or unfortunately, meaning if you have a message that isn’t very clear in a market that isn’t very clear, it’s going to amplify that. It’s just going to amplify that lack of clarity.

But if we can really get a practitioner to do the clarifying work first, which I know is also not the most fun work, because it’s hard and it’s confronting, but it’s so meaningful, now you’re amplifying something that’s actually clear that’s aligned with you, that’s going to be sustainable. But the amplifiers are just so tempting for…myself included.

Kristen Brokaw: I actually don’t know many doctors though, that are just thrilled with what they’re getting from Facebook. Just doing it this backwards way, like dealing with the amplifying, and I can’t get…clarity is, seems like that’s king, right?

Chris Smith: Yeah.

Kristen Brokaw: So clarity is first and then amplify it. So that’s very clear. I appreciate that.

Chris Smith: I will say, though…last thing I will say is…nut if you are a practitioner, we know a lot of them are…whether they worked with me or not, or someone like us, they’ve done the work.
And they’re like, “No, we really do know what we feel called to do. We really do know our message and our market, and we have this method.”

I think you’re beautifully positioned to go out and really amplify that. There’s a real strong likelihood you’ll succeed with your different mediums and you’ll get an ROI from it. I just think that there’s too many people skipping this step, hoping that this just solves it all for them.

Kristen Brokaw: But it’s interesting that you say that, that if you don’t have that clarity, that too will be amplified.

Chris Smith: Yeah. I personally have amplified some really confusing messages that I spent a lot of money to find out like, “Oh yeah, I didn’t do…” Because I just didn’t want to do the work. I wanted to skip the step. And I was just hoping that I could go run some ads and it would just work. It just never…
And I’ll say this…this is my own experience though. I know people have different experiences. We have never, I don’t know, between our group coaching program and private, we’ve had thousands of entrepreneurs in one form or another, go through our coaching.

I’ve never seen an entrepreneur that’s scaled digitally first successfully. I’ve seen lots of entrepreneurs that have done something in person or like one-on-one or one to many like really, really well, virtually or in person, and then have taken those best practices and then scaled it digitally.

So again, that’s another thing that like, but again…if you ask someone like, “Hey, would you rather go build a business around one-on-one coaching? It’s going to not be very scalable. It’s not going to be very sustainable as far as like reoccurring income, or would you rather like build a digital product, figure out ads and just have mailbox money show up every month?”

Well, that one’s way more enticing, right?

Kristen Brokaw: Right.

Chris Smith: But we’ve had a lot of people that start with one-on-one, find out that’s working, really build their message, refine their process, get confidence in it, raise their prices, raise their prices. Really create some really great revenue.

Then they start thinking, “Well, I think I could do what I do one-on-one, I think I could do that in a group. And then they create the group offering, but off of the success of the one-on-one. Now they’re just reaching more people in a more scalable way at group.

And then they’re like, “Hey, I think I can take what I’m doing in one-on-one and group, and I can now translate that into an online program because I have all this data.”

And so that’s the way that a lot of our clients do it successfully. But I have, I mean…if someone has figured out how to skip those steps and just go right to the digital, I’d love to know because I’ll follow it.
Kristen Brokaw: Right. Exactly. And you bring up group, which is something that James himself has written a book on. So I’m just curious about any examples that you have of doctors who are doing groups successfully.

Chris Smith: Yeah. And it’s more around like now, obviously in the group, it turns to more than like a coaching aspect. I think that’s something that a lot of healthcare practitioners take for granted is the value that you can provide people extends far beyond just your ability to like meet with someone one-on-one in person or virtually and hands-on help them with their health.

I think practitioners take for granted how much knowledge they have, that they could teach patients in a group format, in a group setting that could totally transform someone’s health and their life.

Now, would it be the same as getting that hands-on from that practitioner? Well no, but you’re also not going to pay as much as you would in the hands-on in a group. Right?

So like for example, Sheila Kilbane, she can take her “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms” and teach that one-on-one with a mom and her child and walk them through the seven steps. She’s the one really physically kind of doing the hands-on, it’s almost like it’s done for you.

Or she could get a group of 10 moms, teach the principles of the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms” and it’s like a done with you. So it’s like looking at what knowledge do I have that I could extract that I could teach in a group setting or, same thing with online…like online, you definitely don’t have the benefit of being there with them. So you’re teaching principles and concepts more.

I think we take that for granted a lot. I think a lot of practitioners think that their value is limited to what they can do when they’re just directly, hands-on virtually in person with someone and it’s like, “No, you have so much value that you can offer that people will pay for.”

I think sometimes practitioners realize, “Oh, I’ve got a lot of value. I’ll write a book,” which is great. That’s a great way to get your knowledge out into the world and add value to people. But you can really monetize that value in a group setting by teaching people principles.

Now the great thing too, as we’ve seen with practitioners, if someone in your group program wants to go deeper because of the principles you’re teaching and some of the things that you’re asking them to try and experiment on their own at home, obviously they can come and become a one-on-one patient with you or someone else on your staff if you’re no longer seeing one-on-one patients.

Kristen Brokaw: Yeah. So, I mean, I’m so glad to hear you talk about group. I am so pro-group and just like James is, that it really is the way to scale. And actually, I think there’s so many benefits in the group that you’re not going to get when you are one-on-one. Like when it’s someone in the group says something to another person in the group that the doctor then himself never would have even thought to say.

Chris Smith: Yeah. Best practices. It was like, wow. It’s like, great to hear that other people, I’m not the only one struggling with this. Right? Like the community aspect of it.

But again, I don’t think you have to have named your methodology or your process by any means to start a group. But I will say, if you have that “6 Steps to Functional and Free,” or if you have the “7 Steps to Healthy Kids and Happy Moms,” you start to see like, “Oh, I could teach these as principles.”

Chris Smith: “I can guide a one-on-one patient through it, but I could also teach this framework or this method as principles as well.”

I think it sometimes makes it easier for you to wrap your mind around it when you identify what that method or process or framework you have that’s unique to you that you’ve created.

Kristen Brokaw: This is awesome. I love the Ms…the mission, getting clear on your mission and then taking your message, having the right message that you’re taking out there and then marketing that to the right market and kind of even honing in on your method and what makes you do what you do, just you. Then you take it out to the masses and what medium are you going to use? So thank you for that.

Chris Smith: Yeah, my pleasure. And the power is like, when all five Ms kind of start to come into alignment, they’re not going to ever be perfectly in alignment. You’re always going to be…but there can be, it’s like, man, when all those things are kind of working together, like my mission is being supported by my message. My message is attracting the right market. I bring that market in and I take them to this really amazing method and the medium I found, finds those people.

When those five Ms start to work together, it just creates this momentum. And like, the ball starts rolling downhill for you and you get this wind at your back. And it’s like, your team can get behind that.

I think a lot of times, our teams want to really get behind us as practitioners. But it’s just like, they’re just kind of looking for us to give them the playbook. They’re looking for us to kind of give them the structure and then they can really get behind it.

Kristen Brokaw: Right. Oh, this has been awesome. I am so grateful for you. How can people find you if they wanted to work with you or even just learn more?

Chris Smith: Yeah. So if you go to the CampfireEffect.com, you can read a bunch of our case studies from practitioners on our website. Another thing I’d love to give, if it’s cool, Kristen, we didn’t talk about this ahead of time.

I’d love to give the audience a gift. We just wrote this like 24-page enrollment narrative guide. I finally just said, because so much of what we teach around how to put your story messaging into an enrollment conversation, like a patient consultation. I’ve taught it a lot, but it’s always been kind of up here in the slide deck and I’ve never got it down on paper.

So I finally just took and wrote out the eight parts of what we call the enrollment narrative. These are the eight parts of how we believe every enrollment conversation should have in them.

It’s a way to enroll that story-based, devoid of tactics. It feels good. I think it’s… Don’t hold me to it. I think there’s 24, 25 pages. So it’s like very, very thorough. If you send an email to connect@thecampfireeffect.com and I’ll give you the email. And if you just reply in the subject like enrollment narrative, we’ll send you a copy of the enrollment narrative guide.

Kristen Brokaw: Wow. Thank you. That’s excellent. Oh, they will love that.

Chris Smith: Yeah. We’ve had people that take just the guide and they’re like, “I’m enrolling more patients just from this guide.” So the guide is meant to be very, very thorough.

Kristen Brokaw: Awesome. But they can also work with you and your company if they wanted to.

Chris Smith: Totally. Yeah. So for practitioner, there’s really… We have private one-on-one group and an online course. And so just based on where you’re at in your practice, based on the size of your team and based on what you’re looking to do next, usually is either A) We might not be the best fit for you, but here’s what we’d recommend.

Some people already have it in place. They don’t think they have it in place and we show them like, “Yeah, I think you have most of this. I think you’re actually ready to go onto the marketing and the medium and really get this out. And if we do think we’d be a fit for you, we’d recommend one of our three.”

But we’d loved the opportunity to at least talk with anyone who is interested in learning more about how could I use my story and my message to create more income and more impact and impact more lives.

Kristen Brokaw: Awesome. Excellent. Well, thank you so much for your time today. I’m going to go check it out. Okay. Thanks.

James Maskell: Thanks for listening to the evolution of medicine podcast. Please share this with colleagues who need to hear it. Thanks so much to our sponsors, the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center. This podcast is really possible because of them. Please visit goevomed.com/lmrc to find out more about their clinical tools like the group visit toolkit. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.


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