Challenging the Way the Physio Industry Charges

 In POGO Partners™

Recently Brad Beer was invited and interviewed on the Small Business Big Marketing podcast. During the podcast, Brad talks about Physio Marketing and explores:

  • A clever new way of pricing his services that Brad calls The Finish Line Program
  • Why the 3rd iteration of his business is finally the right one
  • His deep respect for marketing and how he gets his name in front of his ideal clients
  • How to make your business customer focused
  • ‘The Finish Line’ philosophy
  • How Brad is making the intangible tangible
  • Packaging up services to benefit the client

Listen to the Podcast Here>>>


Timbo Reid Coming up after this interview, I share another low-cost marketing idea in that wonderful segment that I know you all love, called What Have You Got To Lose? First, let’s meet Pogo Physio’s Brad Beer, who is challenging the way business gets done in his industry, particularly the way physiotherapy services are priced. Now, I’ve got to tell you, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a physiotherapist. This is a wonderful chat around pricing what it is you sell.
A little bit about Brad, he’s delivered in excess of 25,000 physiotherapy consultations, he’s got an Amazon best selling book called You Can Run Pain Free, he’s a media commentator on all things running, he hosts the Physical Performance Podcast … Got to love that, a fellow podcaster … Champion triathlete and marathon runner is Brad. He lives like this. In his bio, he says he, “Lives at the intersection of maximising potential and physical performance.” We’ve spoken about finding your intersection on past shows, and it’s a powerful thing to do, and I like where Brad’s intersection is at. He’s also a physio to the stars, having treated the likes of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. Hello, a bit of comfortably numb. That’s probably how you feel after a session with Brad.
Listen in as we go deep on a clever new way of pricing services that Brad calls the Finish Line Program, why the third iteration of his business is finally the right one. It’s good, kind of reassuring to know that you don’t always get it right the first time. He’s got to keep plugging away, and Brad’s got a deep, deep respect for marketing, so he talks a lot about how he gets his name in front of his ideal clients. As usual, I kick things off in a very serious manner.
I want to talk names with you, two names. First of all, Brad Beer. Well done on that surname.
Brad Beer: I didn’t get any choice in that, Timbo, but it had its bonuses, and it had its detractions, particularly through high school. I think I had xxxx, Tooheys
Timbo Reid: Oh, yeah.
Brad Beer: The whole lot. My sister had a tougher time.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, I guess so. Well, one of the great headlines in marketing is free beer. So many gags, so little time. What about Pogo Physio? Are you really happy with that, and where’d it come from?
Brad Beer: Yeah, Tim, great question. We are happy with it and the origins of it, and we often get asked about it. Tim, we came out of … I’ve had 11 years in physiotherapy practice ownership, so 11 years in business. In that time, we’ve had three life cycles, if you like, Tim. This is our current iteration, and we don’t plan on making any more changes.
Timbo Reid: Yeah.
Brad Beer: The middle years were spent in a franchise environment, and obviously those environments can be quite regulated in the approach, and the feel, and the culture. You don’t get to choose that stuff. After that era closed, or ended, we came into this third iteration, and at that stage, Tim, we engaged a local branding agency, and we wanted to build it from the ground up with some intention.
Timbo Reid: Interesting.
Brad Beer: We decided to make an investment into that process. We sat around. There was some creatives in the room. There was myself, and … I always liked short names, Timbo, and for some reason, I liked the roundness of the “O” and the fact that it rolled off the tongue with physio, and so we’re brainstorming short, four letter words that couldn’t be abbreviated over time, and we liked Hogo, Mojo, all these different things that. I remember thinking, Timbo, Pogo, I remember thinking, “That’s just ridiculous. I’m not even going to say it.” At that point, that’s when I thought I need to say it, and I said, and I saw the creatives literally just light up. They were all like, “That’s it.” I’m like, “Really? You can’t call a practice Pogo.”
There was no acronym behind it. It was short, it was fun, and people can really … I guess it’s how we tell our story as to what we do is what determines people’s perception of it, but it sticks, and that’s, I guess, all important.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, it does stick. It is short, and I was wondering. Well, that’s really interesting. Interesting that you, as a small business owner, albeit in your third iteration, employed a branding agency. Never a cheap exercise, was it a successful exercise, given that you came up with the name?
Brad Beer: Yeah, I didn’t think of that. Yeah, I believe it was, Tim. They did some research through our clients, and at that stage, we had a very strong, healthy, local business with a sizeable database, so they did some research there. I guess the reason why we would put aside the substantial sum that it was to go through the process, was I’d always had a big vision for our industry. I’d always been bothered by some of the frustrations with the limitations of the physiotherapy private sector, so I guess I knew deep down at a heart level that we wanted this to be visible beyond a local level at some point in the business ownership journey. I had a sense, “Let’s make it right the first time, rather than do a Clip Art job and iterate it as we go.”
Timbo Reid: Interesting. Do you mind if I ask what that ended up costing you?
Brad Beer: Yeah, Tim, it was a $10,000 investment, so at that stage …
Timbo Reid: What did that get you?
Brad Beer: What did it get us? It got us the look and the feel, so the brand’s, I guess, the style guide if you like, which it doesn’t get you the whole kit and caboodle, where it’s a turnkey solution, you’ve got everything at your fingertips. You still have to obviously go and do further jobs. It gave us that strong start. It gave us … They did a bit of culture work as well, and out of that, Tim, we came up with our three, still to this day, three years into this iteration, core values – #HaveDailyFun, excellence in delivery, and our customer is our hero. It really helped us streamline our thinking into what’s important to us, so I believe we got great value.
Timbo Reid: That’s interesting, because there’ll be plenty of people listening who are hearing not a lot of physical outputs from your $10,000 spend, but it sounds like what that process did was articulate your thinking around what the brand stands for, your values, the story around it. Would that be fair to say, and you got a style guide?
Brad Beer: Exactly. I guess now we’re at a point where this year we start scaling up, if you like, our approach to the industry through something licencing, and so I look back now and I think, “Yeah, that was a solid investment at the time.” That’s never easy, but it gave us something that … Strong foundations to build from, and our current graphic designer, who he just pulls directly out of the style guide. In fact, he was one of the guys that inputted into it at the previous business. He’s now out freelancing, so it’s been a great continuity on that sense as well.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, good on you, Brad, because funnily enough, even just this morning, I did a coaching session with someone who’s starting a business, and whilst she was very keen to cut to the chase of what is the offer that she’s going to create, and get to the pointy end, pulling back and actually having a look at what the brand or the business stands for, and how to turn it into a brand, and what are the emotional qualities of that brand that are really going to hook people into paying attention, it’s work that is not highly valued, but highly important.
Brad Beer: Yeah, good distinction, isn’t it? It’s everything.
Timbo Reid: It is.
Brad Beer: It’s every contact that a prospective client or a client has, it’s all branding. I know you’ve got a great pension for this. I just love when you go somewhere, and they’re intangible. You can’t put your finger on it, but you’re like, “It’s presented well, it’s a beautiful design, it’s … The service is there.” You’re like, “That was an experience.” Yeah, that’s always been important to me, Timbo.
Timbo Reid: Well, I just think you look at … All you have to do is go and look at some of the bigger brands. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. There’s a lot of stuff that the top end of town, I think, gets wrong in their marketing, but there’s a lot of stuff that they get right, and one of the things they get right is that respect of the brand, the discipline to make sure that their brand presents itself consistently across all touchpoints, and that over time, prospects and customers develop a real familiarity and comfort with it, because that brand is consistent and doesn’t change drastically at any one point.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: Love it mate. Hey, physios, geez, mate, they do annoy me. You with me?
Brad Beer: Keep going. I’m with you. Tell me why. Tell me why. Tell me why.
Timbo Reid: Well, it is a digression, and I do want to get into what makes you different, so it is a bit of a segue, but come on, Beersy. You don’t mind if I call you Beersy, do you, because look, here’s the thing … I will take 51% of the blame for what I’m about to say.
Brad Beer: Yup. Give it to me square up.
Timbo Reid: All the other physios take the other 49%. I go, I get a quick little treatment … I’m going to reference breaking my arm im a cycling accident two years ago … A quick treatment, little bit of a rub down, “Oh, that felt good,” “Go home and do these exercises, and we’ll see you next week.” Now, I’m not a big one for the exercise.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: I know I should be. That’s why I’m taking most of the blame.
Brad Beer: Well, it’s an interesting dynamic. Carry on. This is great market research.
Timbo Reid: Well, there you go. Sorry, listeners. We’re just doing market research now, but I think this is valuable because I know … A little bird tells me that you also share similar thoughts to me.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: Then I just get left feeling, “Okay, well, I’m going to roll up next week, and the week after, and …” Guess what? I stopped going.
Brad Beer: Surprise, surprise.
Timbo Reid: Yeah.
Brad Beer: Did you feel like this was a never-ending, “Let’s just see how you go, rock out next week,” is that where you’re at?
Timbo Reid: Mate, I saw no finish line.
Brad Beer: Oh.
Timbo Reid: Hey? You like that?
Brad Beer: I do, Tim, I do. Aw, Tim, look, your experience, thanks for sharing that. I recall your fall off the bike. I wasn’t across the details of your injury, but your experience, as much as I’d like to tell you is unique, sadly I know is not the case. Really, I talk about I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, and banged my head against a brick wall to get some revelation about how it could potentially be done differently, and you mentioned those two words there, the Finish Line … Three words, and really, obviously it’s a bit of a play on words, but that is what we’re about.
We are in the practise about presenting a model of care that’s first time in our industry, Tim. It’s unique. It’s pioneering. It’s been challenging for a whole lot of reasons to get up and get running, and we’re there now. Really, what we’re trying to do is to make sure that anyone that walks through our doors doesn’t get that experience that you described, feels like it’s never ending, you get a bit of exercise, you get a go do, and there’s never really any result achieved. All that’s achieved is … I talk about three brand damages. It’s damage to the brand of the practitioner that looked after you, because you never really would walk out and rave about the experience. It’s damage to the physiotherapy brand, because next time you go try a different allied health service, Tim, and it’s damage to that practice. You’re not going to walk out and favourably talk about that experience. We wanted to make sure that our clients weren’t encountering some of the same frustrations you’ve just shared.
Timbo Reid: In walks the Finish Line Program, which we’re about to talk about. Before we do that … Clearly that’s what sets you apart. It’s Pogo’s thing, which I think it is very fascinating, because in a very crowded market place … Let’s face it, no shortage of physios. One on every street corner almost.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: You seem to have landed on something that has set you apart. Why, though, why did what I described, why does what I described be so ubiquitous amongst everyone who … A lot of people who go to physios?
Brad Beer: Yeah, look, I’ve got my opinions, obviously.
Timbo Reid: Share it, mate. Go on. Piss the industry off.
Brad Beer: Well, that’s not my aim.
Timbo Reid: No.
Brad Beer: Quite obviously, but my aim’s on the clients. I’m on the client’s side. I just want them to get what our industry can offer them. I took time out a year and a half ago, just in a metaphorical sense, of looking at, “What’s missing here?” The session to session approach to service prevision, in our case, the physio industry, that’s all the industry’s ever known, Tim, and the major flaws I see in it are physiotherapy, like any professional service, is not a cheap service. You come, you get your session, you pay at the front, you come back next time, and in good faith you might continue that process until potentially you get the result that you’re after. Potentially you don’t, and if you don’t, you do what you did, Tim. You just drop out.
We actually tracked it, approximately two years ago now. We did a six month, and we’ve been measuring this every six months. We wanted to know … We talk about, and I know you share a similar love … Apple products. You buy a computer, you get a high five, you get a little party as you walk out the store. How can we make sure that every client that ever engages our service gets that high five moment at the end of it? That gave birth to this, what we were after, is a Finish Line.
Timbo Reid: Just hold that thought, by the way, Brad, because the other thing, too, is that I was lucky enough to go do a bit of a tour of my favourite football club, the Hawks down in Melbourne, a few years ago, and the other thing that occurred to me, I went into the massage room, and one of the players was up on the table, and he had the physio working on him. I got talking to him. He was in a lot of pain. I said, “How often do you get this treatment?” He goes, “Every day. Every single day.”
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: The other thing that occurred to me was that the physio saying to me, “Come back next week,” or, “We’ll see you in a couple of weeks time,” wouldn’t the real truth to the solution be, “Actually, we need to see twice a day for the next six days,” for example?
Brad Beer: Absolutely, Tim, absolutely, and we share that. I share your view, as a practice, as a team, we share that. Why is it that we’ve operated on this session to session stayed approached that we’ve tracked and did the statistics around? It doesn’t work. It gives one in two people at best the outcome that they actually wanted. When we talk about outcomes, we talk about either getting out of pain, Tim, or getting back to your physical best. They’re two different journeys, and we use a little graph for this, and people get to choose your journey.
Tim, if you just want the pain relief, let’s give you that. That’s how that looks. You don’t want to do the rehab, you don’t want to do the exercise, let’s just get clear on your expectation and deliver what you want. If it’s to go the full length, and fully rehabilitate, and address the reasons why you’ve got the problem … Falling off the bike we can’t address that … Then let’s go into a different journey, but let’s get clear from the outset what you want first of all, and secondly we recognise that one in two people get an actual finish line result in the industry, so we need to do something different on that respect.
A big reason, I think, Tim, why only one in two people get that result, get that finish line under the session to session care approach is exactly what you just shared with your observation of the professional football player. If you’ve got an injury, you just want it sorted. You want to get out of pain and back to your physical best, whichever path you choose in. Why is it that as health professionals, we would give a prescription to you as you experienced, “Tim, come back at the end of the week, or come back next week.” Yet we know at our heart level, with our skill set, if you were here the next day, you would get a markedly better outcome, a much quicker outcome, and you’d be raving about it. Yet, we diagnose your hip pocket verse diagnosing your injury. We make our prescription accordingly.
Timbo Reid: Interesting. Interesting.
Brad Beer: We walk around here and talk about family recommendations. Tim, what would you recommend your physio AB, what would you recommend your own mum, to your own mum? Would you want her sitting around in pain for a week? No. You’d have her in the next day. Why don’t we do that? Because we are aware that the set service is not a cheap service, and we always have thought in the past, “What can the client afford verse what can they need?” They’re worlds apart, Tim.
Timbo Reid: In walks the Finish Line Program of Pogo Physio. What is it?
Brad Beer: Yeah, Timbo, the Finish Line Program is … Firstly, Finish Line’s a philosophy. It’s that philosophy that we share that we want every client to get a high five moment, to get what they wanted to get done done, and to not come back. We’re hoping to say, “We love you, but we hope that we don’t see you unless you need us. We’re here if you need us.”
The Finish Line as a concept got birthed … I was out running one day. I often run, and funnily enough, I listen to podcasts as I run, but it dawned on me that, “Geez, the personal training fitness industry’s really been getting this right with their 12 week boot camps, et cetera. Would that ever fit inside our professional service environment?” I thought all the reasons why it wouldn’t work. “Not every industry’s going to need 12 weeks, et cetera, et cetera.” I thought, “What about a subscription model? We know that session to session isn’t working, even with our high standards as a practice, we’re still giving people one in two of them exactly what they want. Would a subscription model work, where a client pays a fee for all access to all services in-house, all the different things we do, for a set fee a month?” I thought, “You know what? It’s still not going to fix the problem of people dropping out before they truly achieve what they wanted to achieve.”
That’s when it dawned. “We need an end date. We need a Finish Line, a date in the diary, where people can run to that and know that at that point they can expect to have everything sorted if they’ve been doing their bit and we’ve been doing ours.” That was the birth of the Finish Line concept.
Timbo Reid: A little ah-ha moment, Brad?
Brad Beer: Well, I’m a runner, and I often think, “You know, why is it at the end of a race, you come within the finish line and you find this extra gear? You find this extra burst of energy, and commitment, and you lift it up a notch.” It’s just the power of having an end date. It works in any walk of life, I feel, so we’ve really now used that in empowering our clients with results. They know when they’re going to finish, so let’s get the job done.
Timbo Reid: Explain how it works. I come in. I gather I can still go into Pogo Physio, and do what I’ve always done, which is I’ll have a consult, 30 minutes later, “See you next week,” or, “See you next month,” or I can go down the Finish Line program. Is that correct?
Brad Beer: Correct, Tim. It all starts with what’s your diagnosis? Our industry typically, Tim, has 30 minute to 45 minute at a stretch initial appointments, so initial meaning your first time in the door. I’ve been bothered by that for a long time, and if you want express medicine, then beware that you probably going to misdiagnosis things and everything else. I feel like it takes me 10 minutes to get rapport with the client. How can we do that in half … How can we diagnosis a condition, give them some love, give them some treatment, and have them feel like their confident in what we’re doing in 30 minutes?
We’ve got a what we call Discover Recover. We talk about it being the gateway to our party. If you believe that we’re the right physios for you, and we’re very clear on who our ideal clients are, then there is no other way to do this, because you value physical best performance. We need 60 minutes with you to start with, and 60 minutes for your second session. Inside that, we come up with a diagnosis, so what it is, we look at why it’s happening, so the contributing factors, we immediately start some treatments, set you up with, if necessary, some things to be doing proactively between that appointment and that next, and that’s just done on an exercise app that we use, so it’s no longer stick figures on a piece of paper.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, I hear you.
Brad Beer: You hear me, yeah? The rest of Australia says, “Amen,” too. That happens across two one-hour sessions. That’s our Discover Recover process.
Timbo Reid: Pause this. Pause it. Pause, pause, pause this. There’s so much to unpack there. What’s interesting, and I’m looking at the Discover Recover page on your website. You’ve trademarked Discover Recover?
Brad Beer: Correct.
Timbo Reid: Correct. Clever.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: You’re packaging it up.
Brad Beer: Unique in our industry. Yup.
Timbo Reid: It’s unique in your industry. There’s so many learnings here, listeners, no matter what industry you’re in. You have packaged it up into a step-by-step process. What is my injury? What caused it? What’s it going to take for it to get better? How much will it cost? These are all questions, and then you provide the treatment. You’ve made the intangible very tangible.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: He says with a big sigh.
Brad Beer: Yeah, well … Tim, if we’re serious about what we do, can we afford not to? We’re either here to get clients results or we’re not. These are the questions, as you said, on the Discover Recover page of our website. They’re the questions that we know our clients are asking.
Timbo Reid: Yup.
Brad Beer: Who are we to not answer them inside their first appointment with us?
Timbo Reid: Yeah. Love it.
Brad Beer: Built right into the experience.
Timbo Reid: It’s a two-session first step …
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: … To the Finish Line program. Is that correct?
Brad Beer: Correct, Timbo.
Timbo Reid: It’s a two-step process in the first part of the Discover Recover process as you head towards the Finish Line, correct?
Brad Beer: Correct, and we need to know what your diagnosis is. Diagnosis determines prognosis. Diagnosis is what is it, prognosis is how long. Not everyone’s going to fit into where we’re about to go, one of our Finish Line programmes, so we still need to offer session to session care, and I can give you examples as we go, Tim.
Timbo Reid: Does it allow you to charge a premium, Brad?
Brad Beer: Well, premium’s a subjective term.
Timbo Reid: Okay, let me rephrase it. Let me rephrase it. Does it allow you to price your services higher than what you used to?
Brad Beer: Absolutely. One, we’re spending longer with a client. We didn’t do this just off a whim, Tim, and go, “Oh, let’s just create longer consults, because we think it’s going to be better for the client’s outcome.” We knew it would be, but we asked our clients through some surveying and in different things. The funny thing was, Tim, one, we asked, “Would you like longer consults?” “Yes.” Two, “If we offered them, would you be happy to pay for them?” What do you think the answer was?
Timbo Reid: No?
Brad Beer: “Yes,” so it was a no brainer for us. It comes back to how important is their problem for them to get solved? Yeah, we do charge more because everything is listed in terms of our standards, and we know what we can deliver with our results. In terms of the industry average, Tim, it’s worlds apart, but I think our results are world’s apart.
Timbo Reid: What am I paying for a Discover Recover session?
Brad Beer: Yeah, Discover Recover, they bill it out at $175 for our masters physio for the hour, which is still a cheap consult compared to going somewhere and getting a half an hour initial consult, and then going back for a half an hour followup to get the same amount of work done relative. The second one is billed at the same, so $175 for the second hour.
Timbo Reid: Okay.
Brad Beer: That’s still paid session to session. I’m on a different fee structure. I’m running the business, and niched out and different things, so my fees are $300 for the hour, and $300 for the followup hour.
Timbo Reid: Okay, so we finish the Discover Recover two sessions. At that point, do you then say, “Hey, listen, Timbo, this is what we think it’s going to take for you to reach your Finish Line, which you’ve identified with me.” You’ve put a price on it, then I visit you as often as I want, or have I got it wrong?
Brad Beer: No, it’s very close, Tim. Yeah, so we diagnose your injury. We know … It’s a matter of marrying together what you’ve got and where you want to be, because you can have the same condition, but have very different desires as the recipient of our service, so once we’re very clear, and we’re not talking about, “What do you want to get out of this?” “Get out of pain.” Well, of course. Why is that important to you? We try and plum down to or three levels until we get that ah-ha moment where our clients truly know that we’ve got why they’re there, which I think in healthcare so often doesn’t happen, often because of the time constraints. “You want to get better?” “Of course.” “Let’s just get that done.”
Tim, once we know what you want and what your condition is, we will recommend based on what you’re trying to get done, one of four Finish Line programs. They are either session to session care, which is exactly like you’ve experienced our industry, Tim, over the years. That’s … We need that. If you’ve got someone with frozen shoulder, for example, a true, authentic frozen shoulder, we could see you three times a day for two weeks. It’s not going to move the needle forwards any quicker. There’s a natural time course for that condition that it needs to run. It’s unfortunately eighteen to 24 months, so you’re not going to get value if you go into a Finish Line programme where you get unlimited access across that time frame.
The other three options, Tim, are a two week fast track program, a six week complete recovery program, and a twelve week into performance program, and the into performance program’s really what we want to be known for as Pogo. It’s our hallmark programme. It’s about taking people from injury into a state of physical performance that they didn’t know existed. They’re our four programs, Tim.
Timbo Reid: Each with a different price point, right?
Brad Beer: Yeah, correct.
Timbo Reid: Each, except for the first one, visit by visit, but the others, what I’m finding interesting is you’re letting people visit you as much as they want to. Does that not open itself up to abuse?
Brad Beer: Well, it could, but as the business owner, and as a physio that’s passionate about seeing our industry be known for what it can actually achieve for people, removed from the restraints of the session to session limitations, which we’ve discussed, I am happy to have a client come in and see … If they feel that they need to be seen, there’s a reason for that.
As the health practitioner, I feel that it’s incumbent upon me to, even if it was me, to sit the client down and say, “You know, look, I’m hearing your concerns. This is the perspective of where we’re going, where you’re up to. This is our next step. Review in two days, five days, one day, whatever it might be.” Isn’t that a better conversation to have because we’ve got our doors wide open than you going over the fence to the neighbour and saying, “Hey, neighbour, my shoulder’s getting better as quick as I thought it would. What do you reckon I do?” He gives you an option, off you go. You change gears, spend more money, and you’re back to square one.
Yeah, there’s an inherent risk there, Tim, but I don’t really see it as a risk. I see it as an opportunity to actually provide the care that clients need.
Timbo Reid: How long has the Finish Line Program been in effect, Brad?
Brad Beer: Tim, we launched it July 2016, so we’ve now had the benefit of having six months … Just over that, really, seven or eight months … Of client success through the programs.
Timbo Reid: What’s been the biggest impact on the business in those six months?
Brad Beer: The biggest impact on the business would be some of the virality if you like that it’s starting to create in our … We’re on the Gold Coast, so we’re at the moment geographically bound in our reach. We have clients travel great distances. That’s a whole lot of fun when people travel. I talk about loyalty as how many practices do they need to drive past to get to us? We’re getting this virality. We’re getting known for our different approach, Tim, and for me that’s just wonderful, because I know that our approach is getting incredible results and our clients are loving it.
For example, a gentleman, a young musician who I saw. He’s a talented musician. His band’s just been signed by a record producing company, and he’s off to the studios. He’d had all his school life, last part of his school life, sorry, Tim, his Uni days, terrible back pain, so he had to get back surgery. His neurosurgeon referred him to see our practice, specifically me in this instance. This gentleman is a young, just finished Uni, I think his car had done 30,000, sorry about 300,000 Ks or something. He didn’t have the finance readily there, but he could see that he was going to have to spend the money anyway, and loved the idea of the twelve into performance program, where we would take him from where he was to where he could truly be.
Through some help of his parents, he invested in the twelve week programme, which has a fee for … It’s $2,995, a bit more if people want specifically me involved. Yet, he got far more in services access than he could ever have gotten otherwise, so he got far more in value than what he paid, which I was happy for. All I cared about, we cared about, was getting him a result. This young guy went from not even being able to stand and play his guitar, and he’s a lead guitarist, Tim. You don’t see too many lead guitarists sitting down.
Timbo Reid: Not a good look.
Brad Beer: He went from that to running 15 Ks at the end of that twelve weeks with me … I ran in the race with him here on the Gold Coast. It’s part of our program. We actually pay for our clients to have a physical experience, Tim, something that’s out of their normal comfort. It’s part of the into performance program. For Tom, we identified early that he loves to run, yet he hasn’t been able to run much for the last few years. We’re like, “Right, let’s set that. That’s going to be our celebration event.” I went and ran it with him. He had a great time, and discovered a new level of performance that he never knew existed.
Timbo Reid: Love it. What do you mean you pay for your clients to have a physical experience?
Brad Beer: Well, in the twelve week into performance program case, Tim, it’s a transformation. It’s about opening people’s eyes to the fact that, “You know what? You’ve had chronic lower back pain,” or sciatica here in Tom’s case. “Tom, do you know that it is possible if we …” When we use this in our Finish Line workbooks, so they have online access to stuff as well. “Do you know that it’s possible, Tom, to actually get on top of this through these mechanisms, and if we do this work, and if we approach your visitations as it needs to be verse come in every week, let’s get intensive about this, then it’s possible for you to do these things.”
People don’t naturally … When they’re in pain, and they’ve had this legacy of this, it’s hard for them to see that runway ahead of them. Yet, when we take the time, and we’ve got that ability to have the contact time with them and the regularity through the unlimited access fixed price, our methods, all of a sudden they start to buy into the idea, and they experience it as they go. It’s like a metamorphosis, to the point that sometimes you’ve got to put the cap on their activity because they’re getting so excited.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, right. Yeah, love it. I think that’s a great idea. Now, brilliant. You have differentiated yourself. You’ve challenged the conventions of the industry. You’ve differentiated yourself from everyone else in the industry. You’ve got a wonderful respect for marketing, Brad. You’ve been a long-time listener of this show. You’ve been a member of the Small Business Big Marketing forum. I would argue that you’re in the minority. What is it about marketing and setting yourself apart that you love?
Brad Beer: Tim, I think when you’re passionate about what you do, and you truly believe in what you do and what you can offer the world, I almost … I just don’t understand how you could not want to either develop skill set in marketing your product or service, or have a natural interest in it. Obviously we’re all wired differently, but even if you’re not interested, I think it’s incumbent that if you truly at your heart of hearts believe in what you do, wouldn’t you not want the world to know about it?
Timbo Reid: Oh, yeah.
Brad Beer: When I’ve thought about that from my own self reflection, I’m a physio student at Uni. Yes, I was creative at school, and I used to be the lead singer in a band, and I did the … I can’t sing, Tim, but could rap. I used to do the posters for our band, Power Pig. I’d run around the town and stick them up on the telegraph poles. I’d look back, and I go, “You know what? I was always marketing things.”
Timbo Reid: I’ve got to stop you. You got a short rap for us?
Brad Beer: Tim …
Timbo Reid: Here we go.
Brad Beer: I think our signature song was Tennis Ball.
“Hey, start rolling. Baby, little tennis ball.
Hey, start rolling. Maybe we’ll make you stand still.
Hey, start rolling. Baby, little tennis ball.
What you gonna do when the winds stop sloping
And the hill stops rolling and you gotta go home?”
That was as good as it got, Tim.
Timbo Reid: Beersy, mate, I’m so glad you saw … You got to the fork in the road. There was rapping, there was physio, and thank you for choosing physio. It’s actually tremendous. Also, thanks for rapping with us.
Hey, I loved that, what you said. What you said is like, if you truly, truly believe in what you do, then how could you not want to tell the world about it? Obviously marketing is a great way of doing that. Maybe there’s something in that for others listening that you don’t truly … If marketing is alluding you, or successfully marketing yourself or your business is alluding you, then maybe you need to reassess what it is you’re offering. That doesn’t mean shutting the business or starting again, but it does mean maybe just repositioning how you look at what you do, and what you offer, and what you’re selling, and find an emotional entry point that helps you fall back in love with what you do. That’s probably it.
Brad Beer: Mate it’s …
Timbo Reid: A good exercise to undertake …
Brad Beer: I think that’s … We had some rough years through our middle era, where we were doing a journey in a model that wasn’t us, it wasn’t me, and … Through the franchise years. They were rough years. There were bumpy years, there were years where I looked at myself and I thought, “Wow, what am I doing this for? I really went deep with …” It was like, “No …” I even thought, Tim, of walking away from the industry on numerous times.
Timbo Reid: Well, mate, you had rapping to fall back on.
Brad Beer: Well, I knew that. I thought, “Oh, there’s got to be … I’m not finished. I can’t walk away from it. I’ve got to have one more crack at it.” That’s when I thought, “We’ve got to do it differently, not because we just want to be different, but because it needs to be done differently.” It’s given us obviously expression through our marketing, and currently what we do.
Timbo Reid: How low did it get in those years?
Brad Beer: Oh, Tim, they were very bumpy years. I knew I was clinically depressed, Tim, when I walked out the back of the practice one day, and when you’ve got pride in what you do, you make sure the door’s locked. I walked out the back one day, and I was done my patient load for the day, early in the morning to late in the early evening. I walked out the back, and I remember thinking, “God, I don’t even think the … Is the door locked?” I actually … First time I ever can recall I didn’t double check it. I went, “I don’t care if it’s not locked.” They were rough years, Tim, really, really tough times personally, different things. A family who were going through the journey of our first child arriving, and multiple miscarriages in that journey, and things, so they were really tough years. I look at anyone in business, and I know you’re going to have those roller coaster times, and I just always have admired, that’s why I really resonated with your message, the small business owners that keep rolling their sleeves up and keep showing up. Yeah, it can be pretty tough at times.
Timbo Reid: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that, mate. We all hit tough times, and there’ll be owners listening right now who are wondering, “Why? Why am I doing what I’m doing?” It doesn’t mean you always have to keep going, but every successful business owner that I’ve spoken to on this show, of course, hits a rough time. I guess it’s … You’re the runner, mate. You’re the guy who does marathons. I guess it depends what you do when you arrive at that wall, right?
Brad Beer: Yeah, either reinvent yourself, or I guess you transition into something else. I was thinking, “I’m going to go into real estate. I like people. Maybe I’ll be a good real estate agent. The ones that seem to do well are the ones …”
Timbo Reid: Real estate is such a fall back position. How many people must just go, “Oh, look, I don’t know, I just could become a … I’ll just become a real estate agent.” I reckon that’s just a common phrase that many … I’ve said it to myself at a point in time. It was yesterday, I think. No, that’s not true.
Tell me, I’ve got five quickies before we wrap things up, Brad, but I do want to ask you, you do a lot of content creation. You’ve got your own podcast for runners, so you’re building your personal brand, and the Pogo Physio brand, which I think is very clever. What’s the best marketing you do to generate inquiry for your business?
Brad Beer: Getting people a Finish line result, Tim.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, there you go. The best marketing is a great product.
Brad Beer: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s giving people what they want to get out of it. It’s really not, too hard. I could tell you all the tips and different things.
Timbo Reid: Unpacking that, getting someone a great result, so they walk out at the end of their Finish Line going, “My God, my frozen shoulder is fixed,” or, “My whatever ache and pain I came in with, it’s finished.” Do you then sit back and confidently rely on them telling others?
Brad Beer: No.
Timbo Reid: Do you actively ask them to?
Brad Beer: We don’t leave anything to chance. Only reason being their result’s too important just to leave things to chance, so there’s a whole engineered experience from Discover Recover through to the Finish Line, including the two, six, and twelve week programs, a concierge type service, an SMS buddy that people have access to and things, so nothing’s left to chance. In terms of that Finish Line being arrived at, we’re talking about this weeks out. “Okay, we’re coming up to it, et cetera. Are you happy with your progress? Are you happy with your progress?” Being proactive with making sure they’re on track for it. When they hit that line, we have a little celebration, and different ways we do that. There’s a built in campaign we have with each of the programs for people via email, so we do some surprise and delight things at that moment, all our clients. I won’t share the surprise in case anyone experiences it with us.
Timbo Reid: No one’s listening, Brad. Just tell us what it is?
Brad Beer: It’s a simple way to start, but we have a card that’s got a cool message on it with some movie tickets that go out. Then we have a nurture sequence where, “Hey, did you know it’s six months since you crossed your Finish Line,” and a year, and some little electronic vouchers and different things that accompany that. We always want to give people tools to spread the word.
Timbo Reid: Just so I understand that, all those things that you do form what I would argue is a great customer experience for the customer, for the patient in your case.
Brad Beer: Yup.
Timbo Reid: Are you then relying on them talking about it to others still, or is there a point where you say, “Hey, listen,” because I had a dentist on years ago. What was his name? Lund. Patty Lund. Now, a bit of a different story, although what he did do was he closed the doors of his practice, basically, and he wanted to keep going, but he just said to his … 25% of his favourite patients, “Here’s my business card. Give it to two people just like you.” That was how he built his business again from the ground up by just getting great patients that he wanted to work with. He actively did that. Do you actively do that with your clients?
Brad Beer: Yeah, we have little referral cards, so we do … Every client, typically around the third session, gets a little booklet with two little referral cards in there, a little gift for the referrer and the referree. Yeah, that’s the life blood of any small business I think, and particularly a service business. I’m less excited about having massive numbers of new clients through our door. We experience that. I’m more excited about what percentage of Finish Line results did we achieve for our clients over that six month period. That’s our guiding light. That’s our North Star.
Timbo Reid: Makes sense.
Brad Beer: Yeah, reputation’s too important to not give people what they want.
Timbo Reid: Now, Brad, I always like to finish with five quickies. Are you ready?
Brad Beer: Yes.
Timbo Reid: Do you accept the challenge?
Brad Beer: I love a challenge.
Timbo Reid: How did you ask for your wife’s hand in marriage?
Brad Beer: Ah, Tim, how long we got? There was a foiled attempt, and then there was the real attempt.
Timbo Reid: Oh, really?
Brad Beer: The foiled attempt, yeah, it’s quite a story, but I’ll keep it short. To answer your question, I organised a gondola, a little boat going down the river of Noosa. We’re on the Gold Coast. It was in the evening, and at the restaurant, I told them I wanted a good seat at the table, and good table, sorry, and that I’m going to propose that night. They got the message wrong, and one of the serving staff came out and said, “So, have you asked yet?”
Timbo Reid: Oh, no!
Brad Beer: I just nearly fell off the chair, and I was hoping Christina, my wife, didn’t pick up on it. I’m sure she did. Anyway, we were trying to get out of there. We finally got in this little boat. We’re driving up the river, and I could just see the flood lights of Noosa in advance of us, and I knew that I had between where I was and there to get the job done. I got down on the knee, and the rest is history.
The foiled attempt, I’d asked Christina’s mother if everything was okay. I’d called her father, who lives in Portugal, and we went for a weekend prior of this attempt, and I just didn’t … I wanted it perfect, and this wasn’t going to work. I’m like, “It’s got to be better than this.” What I didn’t know was on the way back in the car, Christina’s Mum would phone and say, “So, honey, have you got anything to tell me?” She’d been getting text messages from all of her Mum’s friends …
Timbo Reid: Oh, no.
Brad Beer: … Saying, “You must be the happiest girl by now.” Tim, it was very awkward. It’s funny that you ask, but I got the job done, and I married way above my pay grade.
Timbo Reid: There you go. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Brad Beer: Guilty pleasure, mate, running for me is … I’m a fairly energetic type of personality, so if I don’t run, I’m a different person. I’ve got to put my shoes on and head out for a run and listen to a good podcast.
Timbo Reid: Ah, good on you. The Small Business Big Marketing Show, clearly. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen whilst out running?
Brad Beer: I just had this conversation with a patient. He volunteered some interesting things that wouldn’t make this edit. Tim, you see them all. I’ve seen things in bushes along the parks of the Gold Coast that I wish I didn’t see. I’ll probably leave it at that.
Timbo Reid: Oh, don’t, now you’ve got us all wondering. What are you too afraid to try?
Brad Beer: Professionally? Nothing, but …
Timbo Reid: No, no. Just …
Brad Beer: Nothing professionally, but personally, what am I too afraid to try? It’s funny. I’ve got two beautiful girls. One’s three and a half, ones six months, and one of my clients is a sky diver instructor. I did it for my 21st, and he’s like, recently, “When you going to come again, Brad?” I’m like, “Sorry to break your bub- … Burst your bubble, Jeff, but I’m a dad of two girls, and yeah, I’d get a thrill out of it, but the risk verse reward, even though it’s small …” Mate, I’d have to say, I wouldn’t jump out of a plane again, not while I’ve got my two girls.
Timbo Reid: What is it about you high performing athletes that means you can only have girls? It’s a common thing, isn’t it? A lot of … I know AFL footballers have got lots of girls. Something in the chromosomes or something?
Brad Beer: I think it’s a sex hormone thing, Tim. There is something to it. My wife, she’s in medicine. She could explain it.
Timbo Reid: There you go. Last quickie, Brad, is what song is at the top of your motivational playlist?
Brad Beer: Oh, through my band years at school, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were a major influence. The Chilli Peppers, but if I looked at my phone now, it would be the Trolls songs, because my three and a half year old just loves the Trolls movie, so it’s Justin Timberlake and a couple of his colleagues.
Timbo Reid: Oh, I love it. I was hoping for something like something out of Flashdance, or an 80s big hair band, a bit of the Jov, Jon Bon Jovi, not to be.
Brad Beer: I have listened to Bon Jovi for a marathon before.
Timbo Reid: Yeah, I bet you have. Hey, mate, thanks, Brad. Thanks for taking us inside Pogo Physio, and to the Finish Line Programme, because I love, and I know my listeners love, hearing a business that’s doing things differently, not just for the sake of it, but because the industry demands it, and it’s just a better way for everybody, so well done, buddy.
Brad Beer: Thanks, Tim, and certainly one of the podcasts I have listened to over the years has been SBBM, Small Business Big Marketing. It’s great to feel like our business has arrived at a stage that it’s worthy to share with your listeners.
Timbo Reid: Good on you, mate. Thanks, Brad.
Brad Beer: Thanks, Timbo.
Timbo Reid: There you go, Team. Brad Beer of Pogo Physio. Check him out, Coming up, I share my top three attention grabbers from that fire side chat with Brad. Plus, I’ve got another low cost marketing idea for you, but first I’d like to give you an insight into how you can create more freedom in your business and personal life.

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