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Brad Butt is a Managing Partner of Cooleman Court Pharmacy in the ACT and the Founder of Men’s Health Down Under, a pharmacist-led men’s health clinic, and an all-around amazing guy.

Brad is really passionate about helping men with urological health issues. To help more men access the help that they need in this area, Brad is an avid user of LinkedIn and other social media channels and has recently just launched a podcast that candidly tackles the topic of urological health.

Brad is a poster boy for customer-centricity. He naturally prioritises his patients and is so genuinely driven to help them. This passion and authenticity are magnetic. So whenever Brad shows up on a social channel, a podcast, or in the media, you can’t help but listen to what he has to say.

In this episode, we talk about how his personal brand helps (and perhaps hinders) the growth of his business brands. Brad shares why he decided to add podcasting into his marketing mix. We discuss the merits of using LinkedIn as a social media channel and so much more.

Honestly, this interview filled my cup. Brad is a true inspiration. The world would be such a better place if we had more Brad Butts!

You can find more information about Men’s Health Down Under here: https://menshealthdownunder.com.au/

You can connect with Brad on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-butt-05183680/ or follow Men’s Health Down Under on Instagram or Facebook.

Brad’s podcast Lifting The Kilt on Men’s Health is on Spotify podcasts here: https://open.spotify.com/show/7gY9mWW91lBO7Om5eJSaOI


Episode Transcript:

Jane:

Hi Brad. And welcome to the how to do marketing show.

Brad:

Thanks for having me, Jane. I’m pretty excited about this.

Jane:

Me too. I’m excited about it as well. Now I’ve introduced you, people know what you’re all about so can you please tell us all about Men’s Health Down Under and how it came about?

Brad:

Sure. I’ll try not to talk too long and if I am please pull me up. Men’s Health Down Under is a pharmacist run men’s health clinic, if you will. So we’ve got a few mental pharmacists that work here in Canberra, and we’ve got a number of other clinics across Australia. So there’s one in Sydney, one in Wagga, one in Dubbo, one in Brisbane. And we’re getting in one about to launch in Hobart. So we’re finding it more and more pharmacists are interested in doing stuff. I’ve been doing this since 2013. So coming up 10 years and it was a bit of an interesting one to get into. Cause I guess for listeners, you might think of a pharmacist is somebody in your local community. You go to take your prescription in and they give you the medication.

They might tell you a little bit of information about the medication. They’ll obviously charge you for the product. You might get some cold and flu tablets nowadays, you might get a vaccination. So we are seeing pharmacists doing some different stuff, but by a large, you wouldn’t necessarily think, oh, I’ve got a rectal dysfunction. I’d better go and talk to the pharmacist about that. In fact, most people wouldn’t go and even talk to their GP about that. So I guess it’s been a bit of an interesting one for pharmacists to work in. And we started with a patient back in 2013, who came in, one of my regulars. He was diabetic. So a diabetic person, a pharmacist sees a lot of, we’d see them at least once a month, probably twice or three times a month.

Cause they often are on a number of medications. And this gentleman said, Brad, I need a penis pump. And I laughed because we always had a bit of a laugh myself and this man. We had a bit of a laugh and I said, right, I pull the other one. And he said actually, no, I need your help. I said, okay. Right. So we went, had a chat in the consultation room. And again, this is nearly 10 years ago. So a lot of pharmacies didn’t even have consultation rooms. You’d be talking about it in the shop. It’s a bit like the vaginal thrush, I’ve got thrush, help me out. And for this guy, fortunately, we had a consultation room and we went in and he told me he had prostate cancer and he had to get a penis pump on the recommendation of his urologists.

So his specialist doctor that did the prostate surgery and he cried and I cried and I said, righto, no worries. Thanks for sharing. And let’s get it sorted. So that’s kind of where it started. I guess Jane was nearly 10 years ago at that patient. And I got in touch with his urologist who told me what needed to happen. And the rest of it’s been a bit of an education by osmosis, from both patients and a multitude of different practitioners, both specialists, doctors, GPS, and allied health care team to learn what it is that these patients need. And there’s a lot of patients that need this support, not just prostate cancer, but erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease incontinence. There’s a bunch of urological health conditions that men and dare I say it, their partners want help and information on that they’re just not getting through traditional channels. Yeah.

Jane:

Yeah, I get it. I love that and I love that you, by chance saw the opportunity for this. And that was a really empathetic response, as a pharmacist, you have those conversations all the time. You would have no issues, but that’s to you, that’s just information. The fact that you’ve kind of recognized that here is this guy he’s got to talk about something that’s quite uncomfortable for a lot of people to, not just talk about in public, but to kind of admit, like that’s a really confronting topic to actually admit, and then you’ve gone, I can help in this situation. So I’m going to develop something that clicks on to the other support that’s out there for them. So when you were talking about, I’m just going to deep dive into the story that you just told, because it’s such a great story when you’re talking about, well, he cried and you cried. Why did you cry? Like what was it that moved you so much with this guy’s story?

Brad:

It’s a pretty emotional thing. I can feel a bit welling up in me now. I mean, I’m fairly soft person generally. I think the blokey bloke of old is perhaps by and large dying out in Australia, I think there’s still lots of blokey blokes around, but the blokey blokes now go to the footie, have a few beers, enjoy the cricket enjoy catching up with their mates. But it’s a different thing, we talk about our emotions and we talk about how we feel and we’re more likely to be open with our friends and family about how we’re feeling. And I guess that’s sort of come about with movements, like, are you okay? And it’s far more spoken about, and it’s far more normalized for males to have emotion.

And I think that that’s important. So sitting down with this guy, it was highly emotive and I’d always been the joker with this fellow, we had a good relationship. It was slapdash. It was you know, hi-jinks, it was good fun. It was great to see it was short and punchy and that’s normal for pharmacy normal for my pharmacy anyway. It’s a really short interaction. How’s things, yeah great, that’s awesome. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Look after yourself, if you need me, give us call. And the interactions over and done in a minute, maybe two. So to sit down with this guy and for him to pour his heart out, he’s had prostate cancer.

Holy shit. That’s pretty significant in somebody’s life to be diagnosed with cancer for them and having not had a lot of knowledge about prostate cancer before for him to then go on and say, he’s got incontinence, stands up, he gets out of the shower, he’s drying himself with a towel and the urines is pouring out of him. Like he can’t stop the urine from coming out and admittedly that’s early on. Like it does improve, but at that moment in time, that’s that guy’s life, like he gets out of the shower, dry himself and the urines just dribbling out and he can’t stop it. And then he goes on to tell you that there’s no erectile function. That’s all shot to pieces. And his penis is an inch shorter in the flacid state than it was three weeks ago before he had the surgery.

So it’s harder to hold. It’s harder to go to the toilet. You know, it’s a fairly uncertain time. And I suppose we get caught up in the moment and I think a pharmacist tend to take some of the ownership of that problem often. And I certainly do, and it’s quite confronting, so I didn’t know much about it. And I was keen to learn more. So him sharing the story, really, I found it quite emotional as he did. I don’t think he’d opened up to anybody about it. He probably, hadn’t spoken to his wife, I suspect. It’s fairly personal and for him to come and confide in me was pretty special.

Jane:

Yeah. That’s amazing. So, and obviously that’s where the men’s health down under has come about because you’re like, well, these conversations need to be had, like, there needs to be a point where someone can come to ask for this support, is that not available elsewhere? I’m guessing if you’ve got prostate cancer and the incontinence or the erectile dysfunction or shrinkage or whatever happens, is that not something that you talk to your urologist about, or your GP?

Brad:

Possibly it depends. I guess you got to remember Jane that by and large urologists surgeons and they’re primarily, they’re charged with getting the prostate cancer out, doing super good surgery, saving the person’s life. And I guess if you look at it like that, the surgeon’s job is really done once the prostate has been removed and the cancer has been cured hopefully or it hasn’t been then the urologist then refers them to the radiation oncologist or the medical oncologist for the treatment by and large, that urologist job is largely done. And they’re busy people and they might well say, I’ll go and get a vacuum pump or go and take these pills. I want you to do an injection in your penis. And I mean, it’s really hard. Some of them have got, have got nurses and are linked up with pharmacists like us or with physiotherapists that can help a bit.

But by and large, that multidisciplinary team doesn’t necessarily exist for every patient. And what we know is that there’s roughly speaking as 20,000 guys diagnosed with prostate cancer annually of which roughly half of them would have their prostate removed. So that’s about 8,000 guys annually. They have a prostatectomy, which is significant and there’s just not enough support for all those guys across our wide country. Noting that prostate cancer doesn’t just affect those in metropolitan effects, those in regional and remote there’s not the support and tele health is fine, but it’s different to seeing a person in the flesh. Then for the last 18 months, we’ve had tele health and the urologist, it’s really hard for them to do a telehealth consultation, have a look at your penis as it’s shortened, how you’re going. You’re at least in the doctor’s office, you can shut the door and nobody hears what’s going on.

Whereas if you’re sitting at home and you’ve got kids or grandkids or your wife, you’re probably not going to say it as much. So I guess it’s the world has changed a bit and it’ll probably change back to a more normal, once we get through COVID. But I think that there is a gap and a lot of the organizations that work in the space, it’s worth pointing out that there are a few there’s organizations like the prostate cancer foundation of Australia, the PCFA, and that’d be the main peak body in Australia that supports guys. But their charter really is around supporting continents. And maybe they’ll talk about penile rehabilitation, but probably not always. And it depends on the nurse you get, obviously there’s a turnover of nurses in the role with the PCFA as a prostate cancer nurse.

And they’re not always distributed in regional or remote areas either. So that can be challenging. So I guess, and then there’s online resources like Movember has got true north, Men Shed are really good, Men shed are often face-to-face, which has been great healthy male. And then obviously all the anxiety, depression, beyond blue and those sorts of, black dog Institute, where you can go to seek help on mental health as well. Cause we know that’s a massive issue, let’s not forget about that, but yeah, so I guess the multi-disciplinary team is really big and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way for these patients to get involved. And then the GP, unfortunately, they’re so busy and you get 10 minutes or 20 minutes with the GP, it may not be long enough to cover what you need to, and the GP’s sometimes are more interested in making sure your cholesterol is okay and your blood pressure’s okay. And your mental health. And erectile function, is perhaps in their mind maybe a third or fourth or fifth level priority. And it doesn’t necessarily get talked about where for the guy, the fact that they can’t get an erection is their number one priority.

Jane:

Yeah. Wow. That’s awesome. So you’ve, I guess, from what I’ve been able to kind of gauge is the difference too is so you’re part of this multidisciplinary team you’re providing an extension what’s already out there. It’s a place where people can come and talk and feel comfortable and have that conversation, but then you’re also able to give them some, I guess, the pharmaceutical kind of solution. So like if there’s products to fix some of the issues that they’re having, you’re able to actually help them out with that as well, as opposed to just like, I’d imagine like the beyond blue and all the kind of mental health down under, and that kind of stuff. They’re probably helping with the mental health stuff, but you’re actually able to give some product solutions as well as the mental health conversations or whatever.

Brad:

Kind of Jane, we are only pharmacists. I think it’s important to point that out. So as pharmacists, we can’t prescribe medication. Some of it, we can like if it’s available without a prescription, but by and large, the medications we use for these sorts of neurological health conditions, they’re all on prescription. So typically what we do is provide a letter to the patient, enter the doctor, detailing what the strategy is, and then their GP typically is then able to prescribe the medication. And obviously we can provide it then. So that’s typically how we do it. And it’s really important. I think that I talked about the multidisciplinary team before. It’s really important that we work together as a team and whether it be in marketing like you do, or in health, like I am it that the team is really critical.

And if we all work together, we get better outcomes for the people we’re looking after, which in my game is the patient. And I think to try and do something in isolation, it’s going to fail and we need the GP on board. The GP really is the primary caregiver or the primary decision maker. So we need them on board. So we always make sure that we communicate pretty clearly and concisely with the GPS. Like if they need a penis pump shot, they can come and get a penis pump. You can get things that stretch the penis to make it bigger, all that stuff you don’t need a script for.

Jane:

I wouldn’t know that that existed, until you’ve actually had that problem. Why would you look into penis pumps and standards and that kind of thing? So that’s the product that you’ve developed the brand and the business and the product you fill the gap. And it sounds like such an amazing service. Now it’s a matter of kind of getting it out there and making sure that people know about that, but there’s also another really important part of your marketing, which is what I want to dig into. And that’s what we kind of talked about before. This is a difficult conversation to have, because we don’t generally tend to tend to talk about erectile dysfunction or incontinence or whatever because nobody else does. And, there might be some shame associated with that or whatever, but what I can see that you’re doing with men’s health and the way that you so easily talk about these things, your getting it out into the open and making people feel far more comfortable about having that conversation, which ultimately helps them as well.

Like from, from everything I kind of know about this I guess any industry where things are a little bit hard to talk about. If people start talking about it, I guess it’s like money, you know, the more people start talking about money, the more people feel more comfortable talking about money, the more people that start talking about perimenopause, the more people feel comfortable talking about that. And that’s what I think you’re doing so well with the marketing that you’re doing. So let’s dive into that. You’ve recently launched a podcast with Warren Marks and it’s called lifting the kilt on men’s health. Love it. And that’s where you’re tackling some of these topics around men’s urological health. You are tackling some of those, what the layman would consider confronting erectile dysfunction, incontinence, prostate cancer. And until you’re kind of in that situation, it’s probably something that people don’t want to think about until, they know someone or that they’re in that situation. Why did you choose podcasting as a way of kind of getting this information out there?

Brad:

It’s an interesting one. It’s a good question. I guess we were at the point in our evolution as it is where we’ve got a website, we’ve done YouTube and do YouTube, we do Facebook, wee do Instagram, we do Twitter. And I guess it was the desire to try and get more information out to people. Not only in Australia. I think it’s important to note that people listen to podcasts all over the world. So not only in Australia, we can reach an audience beyond what we’re probably tapping into with the more traditional social medias, like your Facebooks and Instagrams. So that was the motivating factor really was, we’ve got all this really wonderful information to put it all on the website. A lot of it’s contained within the website, but then you’ve got to read it and it’s not always, it’s not always easy to read for blokes.

People haven’t got time to read, nobody likes reading. But to listen to a podcast. Yeah, sure. I can put the ear buds in, listen to it. Nobody’s going to know, I can be going for a walk. So it’s a very accessible media. And you know, I think that there’s more and more people that are listening to podcasts and dare I say it with COVID. Our general belief was that there’s going to be people sitting at home, working from home, isolating from home with not a lot to do. Netflix, they’ve run out of things to watch. Oh, well, I listen to a mentor podcast. That sounds interesting. So I guess that was the primary motivator was let’s get this information that’s contained within my head within our other pharmacist’s head within doctors’ heads. And let’s get it out to get it out to anyone that’s wanting to listen, because if we can help people, then that’s the aim of the game.

And I guess it’s important to note, this is this whole mental health. Another thing it’s been a side hustle for us, my wife works and does a bit of Instagram promotion stuff. And it’s a side hustle and I never thought I’d have a side hustle, but here we are. And this concept of a side hustle, it’s not about the business. It’s about helping people. And I think as a pharmacist, you go to uni, you want to help people. And the podcast was a wonderful way for us to be able to get information out there in an easy to digest medium or media that people can listen to, learn from and ask questions about and speak to their friends or doctor about more comfortably knowing a little bit more about it, if they’ve listened to it.

And I think, yeah, that’s applicable to me. Okay, I’ll talk to Brad, I’ll look them up on their website. We’re getting touch. And that I guess was important. I don’t necessarily think that we’re going to have, a massive listenership but it’s out there and if people want to listen to it, great. And I guess it helps build our brand. Like we were talking about before, we’ve got all the other social channels. If we’ve got a podcast that helps build our brand and it helps people say it helps people identify that, okay, these guys, maybe they do know what they’re talking about, and maybe I do need to pay attention and maybe there’s something they can do to help me.

Jane:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I love that. And completely agree. And if I go back to what you said around, like, you can publish all the content on the website, you can develop eBooks and brochures and e-guides and social media posts. People don’t read that. Now, if someone’s in research mode, someone’s just been diagnosed or whatever. And they’re actually like, I want to find out as much as possible maybe, but in general people don’t read that information. I think the beauty of podcasts is that it allows that contextual, it allows you to just add so much more context to the conversation. You’re such a personable character and I listened to the first episode of the podcast. You’re approachable, you’re friendly, you’re factual. And what I love is that you just approach all of these topics with just this really relaxed frame of mind.

So it doesn’t feel like this is an icky or an awkward topic. You’re talking about penile dysfunction and erectile dysfunction. Like you’re talking about cleaning your teeth and all of a sudden I just feel so relaxed hearing that information, whereas if you’re reading it might sound a bit too clinical. And I think when we’re writing this information, we’re really concerned that it’s professional and it’s written in a certain kind of almost corporate format. And  particularly when you’re in that kind of medical field, it can become quite clinical and factual. And whereas this podcast is just certainly the first episode. And I imagine that there’s several different guests, it’s that relaxed, conversational feels. So when people are kind of taking this information in, it almost kind of makes them feel a little bit more relaxed about that.

Brad:

Yeah. And it’s got to be pitched to the average punter, to the average Aussie male. Like wwe’re not trying to pitch it to doctors and be super clinical, it’s gotta be digestible. And you know, I think we’re in this world where you’ve got this news cycle that turns over so quickly and this clickbait and everybody’s trying to get a headline. And I think that we lose some of that, people like to learn and need to get more information. We’re in this world where you read a headline and you consider the news or you’re an expert in the field. So I guess we were hoping to provide a bit more information, a bit more context and stuff that’s absolutely usable and relatable to that’s because we don’t want to provide super clinical information. Let the doctors do that.

Jane:

Yeah. That’s right in your experience because obviously the podcast is new we’ve been connected on LinkedIn now for years, I’ve seen you talk about this stuff on LinkedIn. You turn up on LinkedIn, which is where people are kind of wearing their work hats and all the rest, but it’s perfect. It’s such the perfect channel for you to turn up and start having these conversations. And I imagine you would kind of drop these conversations wherever it’s necessary. Have you noticed by kind of having more of these conversations and sharing this information so generally as you do, that it does help people to feel more comfortable? Like have you noticed that in the years that you’ve been sharing?

Brad:

I think, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve got no way to quantify that but yeah. I think that’s absolutely true. I mean, it’d be interesting to know. People probably see some of the stuff that I post and think, oh God, here he goes again, just scroll past it. And that’s cool. We all do that to one another, but I guess the whole concept of being ever present is important. And I think where your post can get washed away in a matter of moments, this idea of being ever present and there if needed and therefore having to post semi-regularly and promote what you’re doing, I think is important. So I guess my hope was just to remain kind of ever present so that people that I was LinkedIn with thought if something came up, they were comfortable to reach out and say, actually, Hey, can you give me a hand? Cause that’s, as I said, that’s the aim of the game. It’s just to be able to help people. Yeah.

Jane:

I love it. And it’s so genuine. Your passion for this is so palpable. And again, this is probably from what I’ve seen on LinkedIn the most, like, I just love it every time you’ve got something to say, I always read what you’re talking about, because I just love the way that you frame it. Why is it that you’re so passionate about providing this help? Like we’ve seen the origin of this from the conversation that you’ve had, but what’s the passion that keeps driving this will to help people in this way.

Brad:

I don’t know. I mean I feel strongly that there’s a gap in the market that needs to be filled. I know that we can fill it to a reasonable extent. And I’ve been fortunate in life, in many respects. I look at my colleagues in pharmacy that are working hard. They’ve got debts and owe money for cars and that sort of stuff. I was really fortunate and I was lucky enough to have a really supportive mum and dad. And we came from a good, healthy family off the farm. And I didn’t ever have to wish for much. And I guess my life now, I’ve got a wonderful wife, we’ve got four lovely kids, we’re living in Canberra, life is good.

And I think it’s important to acknowledge that because there’s so many people that that’s not their story. And I guess it’s giving back to society and I do one day a week working in men’s health and the other four days of work in my pharmacy, and I’ve got a few pharmacies that I’m involved in so I guess this is my way of giving something back and hopefully making a bit of a difference. And I guess being approachable, super important with this topic, because if you’re not super approachable people aren’t going to approach you. And it’s interesting, it’s kind of self fulfilling. It’s doing a podcast with you or doing our podcast or doing some work with the prostate cancer foundation or healthy male, like all these different groups that you work with, help build your brand, I suppose, and help get the word out there because I can’t get it out to everybody. And I’m definitely not going to, I’m not paying Facebook to try and get it out because I don’t believe I’m going to the right place when I spend the money with them. But it’s doing this sort of stuff, turning up as a guest speaker to a conference that helps build the brand, I guess. And it’s about giving back to some of those groups, but giving back to the community as well.

Jane:

Do you think it’s that passion that helps you because a lot of the time with marketing podcasts and then we spoke before about the grueling kind of schedule that podcasting and even social media can place on a business owner. Do you think it’s this passion and this drive that helps you to show up so consistently, and I’m not talking like it’s not like you’re there three times a week on LinkedIn a bit, but the podcast is going to be once every three weeks, which is a manageable schedule. Do you think that passion does help to make sure that you are persistently and consistently kind of getting out there and sharing this?

Brad:

Yeah, probably. You know what I actually reckon it is, and I don’t know if I should say it, but I think it’s it’s the fear of failure. Yeah. Isn’t that terrible? Like I just think you know, I’ve worked on this for 10 years in my spare time and I can tell you, I very rarely hit the hay before midnight. Normally it’s one, two in the morning, and then we’re up with the kids at six. So the fear of failure is a massive motivator. And I guess, in this world of anxiety and depression, now, I often say to my patients at the pharmacy, it’s normal to feel anxious. Like if you didn’t feel anxiety, you won’t get up in the morning and go to work because there’s no ramifications for you. So anxiety and not clinical depression, but to feel depressed. They’re actually okay. And I think we need to recognize that. So I think for me, part of the motivation is the fear of failure. And I know that I’ve got to keep turning up and you have to do it for your family. You have to do it for your job. You have to do it for your friends. And I have to do it for men’s health as well. So I guess that that’s a fairly strong motivator.

Jane:

I love that. And you’re so right. And why shouldn’t it be that, you’ve worked hard for this, and you want this to succeed and in your case, you want this to succeed, not just for yourself, but for the people that you serve and for the people that you’re showing up and helping, which I think is awesome. Seriously. I can’t love your answers enough on this podcast.

Brad:

If it did all fall over tomorrow, that’d be okay too. Like, I’m cool with that. I’m not so driven by that. If it failed, I’d be dismal. So I think you gotta be realistic. And if it’s all too much and you can’t post once a week, you don’t post once a week. But that motivation of that fear to motivate is fantastic. And maybe I’m addicted to it.

Jane:

Yeah, no, I think I would say I’d put myself in the same category, Brad. Absolutely. Now what I’ve loved again, I’ve spoken about how I’ve kind of seen you on LinkedIn for years. And I love the content that you post there and I’m not a male. I mean, I’ve got men in my life and I know like, honestly, you’ve shown up with such helpful information. I know that you would be the first person that I would go to, to look for where my regional Men’s Health Down Under would be. It’s your face that you’re putting behind this. So what I love is that when you’re on LinkedIn, it’s not Men’s Health Down Under, or it’s not like you’ve done a lot of this with your Coleman’s chemist kind of hat on as well, because as you said, it started as a side hustle of that, but it’s your face, like you’re showing up and you’re the one talking to the camera. It’s not the Men’s Health Down Under message. It’s not the Coleman’s Chemist brand. It’s Brad that the qualified pharmacist and we’ve spoken before, like your qualities – friendly, approachable, passionate, highly professional. With what you’re doing, how important do you think it is for you to lead this with Brad, the person, and I’m going to call it your personal brand on this initiative? Like how important do you think it’s a person that shows up with this message as opposed to a brand?

Brad:

That depends as to whether you’re asking me the question as the practitioner, or is the business owner? I think as the practitioner, it’s super important that I turn up as Brad, but pharmacist, who’s passionate about mental health because that’s what the patient’s paying to see. That’s what they’re, that’s what they’re coming in for. They trust the person and the brand is kind of inconsequential. So I guess the concept of the practitioner being paramount to the patient experiences is really, there’s nothing more important for the patient. And that’s about continuing that continuity of care because you don’t want to see four different people in four different visits. You want the same person. And that would be true for my other pharmacists that work in this space as well. So they might not have the same recognition perhaps because they haven’t done it for as long or they didn’t start it. But to their patients, they’re the equivalent of me or better anyway.

So I think that’s really important, but from the business perspective, I think it’s really important that it’s not Brad, and the dilemma, isn’t it? Because the brand in part is Brad, but, when patients are referred, it’s go and see Brad, but hang on, Brad’s not in Sydney, Brad’s not in Timbuktu, Brad’s in Canberra. How’s that going to work and patients will call up and they’ll say, I need to make an appointment to see Brad. Well, Brad’s booked, but I’ve got another practitioner, I’ve got Tim or Angus. And they’ve said, no, I’ve been told to see Brad and you think the other guys can do it just as well. So it’s really hard. And from a business perspective, I want men’s health to live on forever and I’m not going to be the proprietor of Men’s Health Down Under forever. And I guess uncoupling Brad Butt from men’s health is kind of important too, because at some point in time, 10 or 20 or 30 years time, then that’s going to need to happen. And it’s going to have to be the new young fellow that’s coming through that takes over that needs to be the face of the brand. So, interesting question and one that I haven’t figured out, Jane. Yeah.

Jane:

And it’s so like really pertinent what you say there in terms of, because I think so many businesses face the same conundrum, like it is them, they’re the key person within the business for a period of time, until they get too busy until they decide to sell until they decide that they don’t want to be that key person anymore. And then that personal brand that’s associated with the business brand doesn’t work as well. There are ways and means of being able to position yourself. You know, like you say, for example, if you look at Tony Robbins, the coach hhe’s at that point 100% where he’s got the whole business called Tony Robbins and he takes on coaching clients all the time. It’s not Tony Robbins actually giving all of those coaching sessions. He’s just trained his team based on Tony Robbins values and Tony Robbins technique and approach and all that sort of stuff. So that people have the same faith in his team as they to Tony. I mean that’s a really broad example

Brad:

The bigger your brand gets. So I assume the easier it is to uncouple to an extent, like if you’ve got it, Men’s Health Down Under had 300 pharmacies and 10 standalone clinics in five years’ time, then all of a sudden, it’s not really Brad bButts, one pharmacist who does a lot of the talking and it might have the microphone, but by and large, the brand is probably bigger than the person. And I think maybe that’s the hope. Yeah.

Jane:

And that’s right. So like from a marketing point of view, I think your personal brand being coupled with this brand is super important at this stage because this particularly for this topic, because this is an intimate topic, do you know what I mean? Like the idea of, I guess talking to a faceless organization might not be as appealing as oh, mate, Brad’s so friendly about this and like, yes, some people are going to insist on speaking to you, but if people feel more comfortable and the whole service is more approachable because you’ve got people like Brad working there that might be the thing that actually gets people across the line and talking about it and people connect with people, ultimately, it is great to have people, whether it’s a matter of actually getting some more people that sit in front of the brand so that it’s not just Brad all the time.

I mean, there’s ways and means that’s a different episode, but I was interested to hear your perspective on that. And it’s one that I think a lot of business owners get a little bit fearful about in terms of building that dependency on them now to switch gears into LinkedIn, because I’m really interested again, I mean, I think it’s brilliant that you’re showing up on LinkedIn with this messaging and talking so candidly about these topics. How effective have you found it? And I don’t need measurements and metrics, although I do love a measurement and metric, but from a gut feel like, how do you think that getting your message out by this channel works?

Brad:

I couldn’t give you metrics cause I’ve never really dug into it, but yeah. I mean, it’s always interesting to see who’s liked your post and the impressions that you that are made. I think by and large, the message gets to the right people and by the right people, I mean people within urology space, people within the pharmacy space, physiotherapists, like the people that I would consider part of my multidisciplinary team are getting the message. And I think that, and that’s the professional message. It’s not necessarily the health message, it’s the professional message. And I think that for me, that’s probably the most important driver, particularly from a business perspective. And like you’re saying maybe if you had a mental health issue in your life you probably, hopefully you’d reach out and you’d say, hey, Brad, I need some help.

But I guess I’d probably expect that to come more through your Facebooks and Instagrams. Whereas I think through LinkedIn’s, it’s actually can we work together? Can you link me up with a pharmacist or can you link me up with a physio who’s in your network? And I think that LinkedIn provides a really wonderful network of for us health professionals and people that work in that space. And I guess it’s kind of like the meeting place with your work hat on, like you said before. So that’s really been the success point for us and it makes this giant big country of ours so much smaller in that I can send a message to a physio that I know in Brisbane. So I’ve got a patient up there. Can I put them in touch with you. And that that’s really been the benefit for us I think.

Jane:

Yeah. I love it. Do you use it, do you use any other communication channels? Like, do you use any of the other social medias, like you mentioned Facebook and Instagram before, do you find those effective?

Brad:

Yeah, I do. And I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that the posts that get best traction, most likes, most shares and saves are typically the ones that involve a person. So a general post about, are you okay, a tile that says, are you okay? I’m certainly saying that because it was yesterday. ‘Are you okay’ might get X. And then if it’s a picture of Tim and a penis pump or Tim and a patient doing a vaccination or whatever, you’ll get a hundred X. So you said it before, and it’s about the person as opposed to the brand. And we can flood those social media platforms with tiles that everybody else floods them with and people really see it and just keep skimming. Whereas if it’s something a bit more relatable, personable a story it’s far more likely to gauge traction which is important. Yeah.

Jane:

A hundred percent. And honestly that’s such a good point that you raised there and back to that, are you okay day. I think so many brands they just noticed that, are you okay is on the calendar. Well let’s put an, are you okay day tile post because it’s R U OK day and we should probably jump on that bandwagon kind of thing. And as a marketer, I despise it with all my heart because I just think, what is the point of just proving that you’ve read your bloody calendar and you can stick a frickin rebranded, are you okay post up there? Like anyone can do that. What does that actually mean? And actually, as you’ve said, but if you can textualize that, if you can show up in that space from a place of authenticity where you’re going, I am actually concerned as a brand that you are okay, and this is what we’re doing, or this is what Tim’s doing.

We’re actually reaching out and saying, ‘are you okay?’ Cause this is relevant to our brand. It’s relevant to what we do. And we’re giving people the channel that if they’re not okay to actually come and speak to us, like we are actually someone that you would come and speak to if you’re not okay, just reminding you that you’re there. And add a person to that, add a face to that. Because again, when you are going out and asking someone, if they’re are they okay from a mental health perspective, you want a person that’s asking that question, not a title on social media. I refuse to post those on behalf of my clients. That’s where I’m like, if you want to post that, you need to give me some context as to how you’re actually authentically involved in this message. Otherwise don’t do it because you’ve got every other brand, using the are you okay tile. It’s not authentic.

Brad:

And do something with it. So yesterday for R U OK day, I wasn’t at the shop. I was at one of our other shops, but the pharmacist took the whole staff out for lunch, went and bought them lunch, went out and sat outside, had some fresh air. Everybody caught up, nobody was on their phones, everyone’s talking. So they did that. And then they called a bunch of patients that we haven’t seen for ages because of COVID locked down. And if you’re gonna put a post up, get a photo of your team doing that and put in the blurb as to what you did. And I think that that’s far more powerful.

Jane:

Oh, a hundred percent. That is music to my ears. Seriously, Brad, this podcast is not marked out of a hundred, but just to let you know, you’re a hundred out of a hundred so far. Okay. So what does the future hold for Men’s Health Down Under?

Brad:

More of the same I think. So we’re hoping to open more standalone clinics where the pharmacist is in the medical precinct or a medical suite talking to patients, be it face-to-face or over the phone or video. So more of them in capital cities and get the word out to community pharmacy. Because Jane, what we know is Australia’s got over 5,000 community pharmacies and the way that it works with community pharmacies is the licensing stipulates that they can just go wherever they want, because if they did, they’d all be in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, they wouldn’t be in the regional and remote areas. So we know that there are a multitude of these pharmacies located in small regional communities, remote communities. And we want to get our men’s health brand into those pharmacies so that their local pharmacist, the face of that business is able to say, you know what, “Hi, I’m Dave and I know a bit about men’s health, not a lot, but a bit, and I’m happy to talk about it. And you know what, if I get in over my head, I’ll refer you back to Brad and Tim, or whoever knows a bit more about it.” So that’s the plan. And, and maybe if I say it it’ll happen, so I’m going to say it. So 2023 my wife and myself and our four kids are planning on packing up our life here in Canberra for six to 12 months, we’re going to buy a big caravan for driving. We’re going to drive around Australia with a blue caravan that says men’s health. Then I know we’re gonna have clinics out in the Bush. And calling on all the regional pharmacies to promote the message of men’s health, I feel like we’re going to be some sort of traveling Bible gang. But that’s what the plan is for the start of 2023. So it I’ve said it now. So it’s got to happen. There’s a commitment to follow through on fear of failure.

Jane:

Yes. Okay. You heard that listeners, take him accountable. What an amazing thing, but again, like how awesome are you to turn a family trip around Australia to a public health service for something that you’re passionate about? Like that’s fricking amazing. Your marks just went up to 110%, if that’s possible, how can we help to support this effort and to get the message out there?

Brad:

Ah, I mean, look, the best thing to do is follow us on the socials, give our posts a like, share the posts, talk to your friends about men’s health. If if you got friends that you think might be having difficulty they’ve had prostate cancer, don’t be afraid to tell them, you’ve heard there’s a podcast or there’s this brand called Men’s Health Down Under, you can go and have a look at their website. That’s probably the best thing that listeners can do because it helps get the word out and it makes men’s health, men’s urological health more familiar and more comfortable for everybody to talk about. And it’s a bit like the vaginal thrush thing.

You get women that come in that only want to talk to the female pharmacist and cool, that’s fine. I respect that. But let me tell you, I’m probably more knowledgeable about vaginal thrush than most women I reckon, and I’m an equally for men’s health, it can be like that as well. So I get it for the female listeners. You know, it can be a bit of a funny conversation to have, but it’s one that is worth having, because we know that that men die of suicide at a much higher rate. And, I’ve got men that have had prostate cancer that wish that they weren’t alive, which is just a tragedy. And by having that simple conversation with somebody and providing them that I’ll leave the olive branch you know, go and have a look at this or get in touch with these guys. We respond to all messages, every message that comes through any of our social platforms, isn’t ignored every single one of them gets a reply. And in fact, a lot of them that come through with phone number actually get a phone call. So yeah, I mean, we’re not just a faceless organization. We’ve got a team of motivated, passionate people, pharmacists health professionals that, that will reach out and make sure that the person has got all the support that they need.

Jane:

Oh God, I love it. So where are they finding you? Where are they finding you on social, if they want to help support this message?

Brad:

Men’s Health Down Under on Facebook, we’re on YouTube. That’s a bit X-rated on YouTube, but yes, we’re on YouTube. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, we’re on Twitter, but we’re not particularly active. But and of course on LinkedIn, so Brad Butt on LinkedIn, or there is actually a Men’s Health Down Under LinkedIn account as well that you can jump on. And of course, for all the information about what we do, who we are, what we can provide, it’s actually the to head to the website, which is menshealthdownunder.com.au . You’ll find all about us there, there’s a login page. So if people want to get into all the information, put your details in, and we’ll get you a login for the website. But there’s a fair bit of stuff. Even at the landing page. Jane

Jane:

Awesome podcast is on Spotify and iTunes.

Brad:

Spotify and iTunes. And I think that there’s a link on the website as well, that you don’t have to be a subscriber to Spotify or YouTube or iTunes. You can actually just click the link and it takes you to it. If you click it that it’ll take you to all the previous episodes of the podcast and you can listen to them at your choosing as well.

Jane:

Excellent. I love it. Thank you so much Brad. As I said that podcast interview has filled my cup. The work that you are doing is so inspirational. You’re such an authentically amazing guy where you’re driven by your heart and genuinely helping other people, no wonder, I’m so attracted to your messaging. Like you just can’t help being drawn to people who are so passionate about what they do. I completely beg to differ in terms of when you said, I’m not sure many people will listen. I think we just need to get more people hearing about you and knowing about you. I think you will have so many people who want to listen to this and find out more information from you and come and see you in your big blue van. As you travel around Australia

Brad:

Hundred percent. Look forward to it, come along, come and see us at the pub after hours when COVID is gone and have a beer and talk mental health. Jane, thank you. It’s been great coming along and I didn’t need the ego boost particularly, but I’m happy to take it.

Jane:

You’re an amazing guy. And when you come to Port Macquarie, make sure you let us know in advance. Cause we’ll get loads of people coming and visiting the caravans and lots of beers. People from Port Macquarie are in for a treat

Brad

Oh, lovely. Can’t wait, Jane. Thanks for having me.

 

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