Don Schindler

Digital Strategy & Executive Social Media Trainer

How do you win your wife back? Fight the evil twin.

I’m battling the most evil (and excuse me for saying this) bitch for my wife’s well being. I’ll refer to it as the evil twin.

Let me tell you about this twin:

She lies all the time to my wife. What does she lie about?

  • my adoration and love
  • my kids’ affection
  • my relatives and friends’ thoughts about her
  • her clients’ trust
  • her faith in God
  • her abilities as a woman, a mother, a lover and a friend

She cheats my wife as well. What does she cheat my wife from?

  • Joy
  • Success
  • Happiness
  • Peace of mind
  • Prayer

And she steals from her. What does she steal?

  • Her time
  • Her money
  • Her beauty
  • Her thoughts

God, I hate that woman.

And the worst thing about it is that I’m never going to be able to beat that woman out of our lives because it’s literally my wife.

You’ve seen the Dove commercials where artists drew women as they see themselves and then as strangers or their loved ones saw them. Those woman pictured themselves as some pretty hideous creatures.

I believe my wife’s internal evil twin does that to her as well. It sees her not as a loving, giving beautiful child of God but as a hateful, selfish hideous spawn from Hell. How can that person be living inside my wife’s head?

Well, I don’t know and I’m not here to debate the psychosis of this situation. I just finally figured out that it was there and I’ve decided that I’m not going to fix the situation (I wouldn’t know how to anyway) but I’m going to go to war with that thing and I’m willing to battle her the rest of my life.

Normally I don’t write about these things on my blog. My family life and especially my relationship with Jenn is superficial on the web – we don’t voice too many of important life decisions and we definitely keep our issues out of social media.

While I love social, it’s not a place to throw out internal beefs because nothing will ever be worked out online in a public forum. When you do this, you are just asking people to pick sides in a battle that they have no skin in and they will do it. The results are never pretty.

But this is an issue that Jenn and I both chatted about extensively together and have come to some thoughts that might help others. So I thought I would share.

I want my wife happy and healthy – as probably most of you do – and I’m willing to do what it takes.


How do I win the battle with the evil twin?

1. Unconditional Love – always assume the best.
That thing in her brain hates her unconditionally. It never relents or fails to bring up her shortcomings. Offering unconditional love to her is not always easy but it’s worth i. It means that I love you no matter what you do to me. I will forgive you for anything. Now this might be easier for me more than most because I’ve never experienced Jenn not being honest and open with me about everything.

How do you do unconditional love?

First, is that no matter what they said or did, you have to forgive without holding anything over them. I know this can be difficult if what they have done was extremely hurtful to you but forgiveness will allow you to heal as well.

Second, always assume that whatever has happened, it did not occur from malice or hate. If I feel like I’m being attacked by her over something, I try and view the situation from her point of view and see where I might have wronged her first by being unloving or distant. Hey, I’m male and I do those things a lot. I try not to but it happens.

2. Non-stop Compliments
The evil twin takes advantage of every situation to tell her something awful about herself. You don’t look good enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t loving enough, you aren’t “fill in the blank”.

To combat this non-stop verbal assault that my wife undergoes daily, I try and compliment her as much as I can. Sincerely. Now this may seem weird and when I first started doing more of it, Jenn tended to react poorly. She’s never taken compliments well and we had to chat about it several times before she would take the compliment with a “thank you” vs. verbalizing what that thing told her internally.

BTW, after we discussed this I found out that the evil twin immediately discounts what I say. If I say “I think you are beautiful”, she says, “he has to say that. He’s married to you.” What a bitch.

Little things are just as big as her great successes so it’s more important to give them all the time and sincerely. You shouldn’t wait to give them thinking that you are going to save them up for those larger meaningful moments. It means more if they are there all the time.

I don’t want you to get the idea that Jenn is superficial and needs lots of compliments to get through the day – hardly. These compliments are for her to know that I’m paying attention to her – that she feels loved – and it’s to offset the verbal abuse she’s giving herself internally.

The more I verbalize her beauty and worthiness, the more I see her beauty and worthiness. I’m sure it has an effect on her but to me it keeps my eyes on her and her in my heart.

3. Focus on her like I did when we were dating – everything has intention.
One thing that I struggle with is intention. When Jenn and I first dated, I planned out entire nights – what I would wear, when I would pick her up, was the car washed and cleaned, where we were going, how long we would be there, what we would eat, and when to make the right moves. Now, not so much.

We still do date nights but I tend not to put as much effort into them and then I get called out on them – lack of intention means lack of love and effort. Of course, I don’t always see it that way but she’s right.

Remember the evil twin will come out and use this lack of intention to tell her that she’s not worthy of my attention – which is complete BS but in some ways it’s not. That thing is right – I’m not taking the time and intention to plan the night out, to getting her alone and focusing on her.

I’m definitely a work in progress here but when it comes to date night, I’m trying to get better.

4. She’s before the kids/family – don’t make her feel guilty about you spending time with them as well.
The thing has no problem using her kids against her. When you think about that you realize that’s such an ugly thing to do but like I’ve said before she’s the most evil person I’ve run into so I shouldn’t be surprised when she uses the kids to make Jenn feel horrible.

Quality time / face-to-face time is very important to her and the kids. But remember the kids came after the marriage and they won’t be living with you the rest of their lives. They aren’t your kids anyway – they are God’s children and we are just taking care of them for him.

So the kids come second. I try and set out designated time for the kids every day and I make sure that I’m involved in their lives but the majority of my free time should be focused on making sure Jenn’s needs are met.

I’m not talking about following her around and waiting on her hand and foot. I’m talking about that quality time is defined and she knows when it is and her quality time isn’t sacrificed first when other things come up like helping the kids with a project or working on a vehicle. These unplanned things should be chatted about and shouldn’t be assumed.

Like I said earlier, I’m not perfect when it comes to dealing with the bitch that talks smack to my wife about her failures in everything she does but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give her more ammunition that she can use against her. I want to be there to help her battle that demon not just pick her up after she’s taken a huge hit.

So do you have some good ideas on how to handle the bitch that lies to your wife?

Blowing Up: How to Expand Your Online Influence (Farmer Version)

I teach an advanced digital marketing and online influence class called “Blowing Up: How to Expand Your Online Influence”.

The deck below is part of this class. I’ll come back and fill in the text around the deck at a later time. I’m just trying to get it up for the farmers that attended.


Can half a second on your website determine the trust of your brand?

judge your website in 50 milliseconds

Image courtesy of

Our guts are pretty good indicators of trust. In fact, humans are hardwired to read a situation and come up with an impression in just 50 milliseconds. We get this “fight or flight” ability from our ancestors.

While not everything is a death threat, we use this ability without much thought to it.

So let’s talk about this “fight or flight” in reference to the internet.

When we are looking for a specific answer to a question, most of us trust Google (about 65% of searches start there) to deliver a website that will have the answer.

We scan the results quickly and decide to click on usually the first couple of links essentially our first impression.

Everything on the page (design, user interface, then content) will determine whether we believe what they say is true or we’ll bounce back to the results and click another link.

How you can adjust your website and online image to maximize your potential trust with a user was a SXSW workshop by psychologist and technologist, Vanessa Van Edwards.

Her workshop was called “Digital Body Language” and here’s what the description was:


By the end of this blog post, you’ll know why this image looks this way.

“You have 0.05 seconds to make a good first impression online. In those 50 milliseconds you have to hook someone and convey your brand messaging, encourage clicks and build trust. Most important, this happens before a user reads any of your content, headlines or descriptions. You have to capture their attention with your website’s nonverbal cues or your digital body language.

Whether you run a business, work for a corporate brand or just want to better understand online human psychology this workshop is for you.

As a human behavior hacker, I’m going to show participants how to use the latest groundbreaking research to optimize advertisements, websites, social media profiles, online videos, print materials and emails. We will cover a wide array of online human behavior science such as:

*Using eye patterns to know how a user consumes your content.
*Using images congruent with your branding.
*The science of color psychology on customers and readers, and applying it to your brand’s online presence. Simple changes to your website like colors, text on buttons, people images, etc… can have a dramatic impact on its ability to convert customers and leave the best impression – in only 50 milliseconds.”

Her goals for the workshop were pretty simple.

  1. Be aware of what’s influencing YOU
  2. Take control of your cues.
  3. Supercharge your non-verbal branding.

Here are my notes from the class.

Vanessa Van Edwards has based her career on science-based application of 2400+ human behavior studies.

When people first meet you, they are sizing you up with many determining factors much like they do online digital presence.

These non-verbal cues are 12-13 times more powerful than the accompanying content.

So in other words, if you have all these awesome accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile but you have a bad head shot – the head shot will be more effective at trashing your reputation. I’ll give you points from her class on how to improve your head shots down below.

You must make sure your first impression does everything to build your trust indicators, your personal brand values, your credibility and your memorability so people will feel confident in making a decision in selecting you and your company.

Now what makes up your digital impression?

First, you do a Google search.

When people type in your name, what comes up?

Remember to logout of Google or use a different computer than what you normally use because search engines hold on to results so the results will be based on your history not what’s currently available.

Now what pops up?

Your websites, your images, your videos, etc…


Search changes all the time.

All of these should leave a good impression of you – we’ll discuss more of how these images will look below.

Let’s dig into the links.

If your first link is your company website, there might be little you can do to control the environment that surrounds your head shot and biography.

But maybe you can. You can send this link to your website designer and they can make sure they have incorporated some of these tactics on your website.

When it comes to a digital presence of your company, the first impression is made by your website. On it, users will find your logo, the colors and fonts, photos and/or video, user interface like search box and navigation.

This is what users expect and if things are missing or in unusual places, this will question the credibility of your website – even before they read a bit of content.

So how do you know if your website is trusted?

There are several different ways to measure the effectiveness of your website and I recommend that you have goals set up in your Google Analytics to do this.

But if you don’t have them set up, you can go into your analytics and check out if users are clicking on the right links, if the Bounce Rate is too high (I like to stay lower than 50%) and Time on Page is to low (more than 2:30 minutes would be great).

Users should be clicking on your Call-to-Action – if you don’t have one then I honestly don’t know why you have a website. Most Call-To-Actions I set up are Buy Buttons or Sign-Up for Email buttons. Goals are based on the Thank You Purchase Page or the Thank You for Signing Up Page.

There are also some tools like that can help you get feedback on what people think of your website.

And don’t get me wrong – text on the page is very, very important but it’s usually what people look at last after they quickly scanned the page for signs of trust like testimonials or third party logos.

Make sure the text you have is positive as this can lead to prime people to believe what they see on your page – negativity breeds mistrust of others but will affect your brand.

Now once they’ve decided to look over the page, what are some important elements that people will focus on?

People’s faces.

Yep, our brains are wired to look for the human face and then the patterns on the face (even when you physically can’t recall seeing the face you will have an impression about it).

Once we have recognized a face, we will quickly analyze their expression to see if they are friend or foe. And since we all study human faces all the time, we can easily pick out what they are feeling. In fact, there are a few expressions that are involuntary that we pick up right away and they can help or hurt your website’s credibility.

Vanessa went over three common expressions that influence trust and they are:

  • Contempt – a smirk or raised angle smile will cause mistrust.
  • Happiness – an honest smile will have crows feet in the eyes. Fake smiles don’t and can help just as much as contempt.
  • Fear – if the user sees the upper whites of eyes (even if the face is smiling, it will seemed forced).


Check out the pictures on your website of people. Get rid of the fake stock photos and put in some genuine happy faces.

Next is the gaze.

Vanessa wanted us to know that there are particular ways that people look at other people as well as looking at websites so there are multiple ways you need to take gaze into account.

First is how people look at your website.

They use an F-pattern as first discovered by Jakob Nielsen in 2006 and it still works today.

People scan the site, looking for normal patterns.

Logo, navigation, search box, social then down the page to images and content, then they quickly scroll down the page.

Your crucial information should be placed within this pattern to make sure it is found. Many times I see Call-To-Action buttons or boxes at the very bottom of the page or in an unusual spot. It’s ok to be unusual if you are going to draw attention to the button with color or an image.

But there’s another gaze that we pay attention to.

The gaze of the people on the website.

You can direct people to different places on the website by simply aiming the gaze of the person on the page. People will automatically look in the direction of the person on the page – make sure your call to action is in that gaze.

Another great way to make a good digital impression is to have video on the page or within your search results.

Video is powerful communication vehicle and people tend to watch videos more than anything else online (notice the growing popularity of Facebook videos and YouTube).

But to have a good video that can earn you trust, you must pay attention to the psychological best practices.

Van Edwards just released a great study on the best and worst TED talks. They analyzed over thousands of hours of TED talks to find out the commonalities of these speakers and have come up with some remarkable studies.

Going back to our gut reaction, we decide within the first seven seconds whether we trust the subject of the video. Seven seconds.

If you don’t get them to trust you in the first seven seconds, you won’t get them to trust you the entire talk.

So what are the best practices of the best TED talks?

  • Hands – the study found that the use of your hands in a presentation determined success and trust. 465 > 272 best to worst. If you talk with your hands in videos, then keep doing it. If you don’t, you need to start using them. Things to do with your hands are pointing out growth, counting numbers (1, 2, 3) and personal passion (touch your heart).
  • Vocal Variety – You have to change your tone. Let it flow with your emotion and definitely change your cadence to keep the audience engaged. They never know where you are going next.
  • Smile – Add jokes, tell stories you can smile at even if the topic is serious and use that smile. The best speakers smiled 36.25 sec vs. 9.15 sec of the worst ones.

From her blog post – you can also add Enthusiasm (people liked speakers even with the sound off – so gestures and constant movement), and not using scripts (makes people too stiff and like they don’t know what they are talking about – politicians should take note).

Next let’s talk color.

Now if you are like me, you might have picked the color of your logo or your website based on your favorite colors. But remember you are trying to make an impression on someone so colors and font choices mean a great deal to the user – not just what you like.

Research reveals people base between 62-90% of their assessment on color alone.

So what do certain colors mean to the user?

  • Blue – loyalty, stability, tranquil
  • Red – passion, aggression, sex, metabolism
  • yellow – happy, optimism, youth
  • green – healing, success, hope
  • Black – power, mystery, professional
  • Purple – royalty, spirit, luxury
  • Brown – stable, natural, reliability
  • Orange – energy, fun, warmth
  • White – purity, cleanliness, innocence
  • Gray – neutral, practical, quiet


What you need to do is limit or eliminate off brand colors, confusing color cues, or purposeless colors. Everything is intentional whether you mean to do it or not.

Wow, are we ever going to get to the content on the page. Yep, now we are.

When it comes to the content, people are going to be looking for authenticity cues. That you are who you say you are.

Now how do you do this?

Authenticity comes from personal stories embedded within your profession information. The “WHY” you do what you do is just as important as they stuff you do. It needs to match up.

But you need to make sure you are eliminating grammar errors (tough for me), spelling errors (even worse) and anything vague that could be a lie so be specific.

You can add social proof to build trust with testimonials, reviews and certifications as well as recognized logos.

Then she spoke about confidence cues.

She said that when we meet someone new we are always sizing them up.

It’s our Alpha thought – are they awesome or am I?

Power body language (body position) has a halo effect – use more space and you will effect more than just you.

If you want people to think you have more confidence then use your body language in ways that are expansive. You are staking claim over territory, keep your head high, arms wide, shoulders back, chest open. The more space you use, the higher people perceive your confidence.

People perceive low confidence as your body is contracted, less space, the more your head is down or bowed and shoulders rolled. Hey, do you know what we look like when we are looking at our phones. You got it – low confidence.

Again, how do we take this to your website and your online presence?

Let’s talk about your head shots – a good headshot according to Vanessa was one that is viewed from below, aim your torso and toes toward the person and eyes gazing at the camera – you will look more trustworthy, open-minded and sympathetic.

If you need to look helpless and get sympathy, be viewed from above and don’t meet the gaze of the camera.

She did a great job in explaining how cereal boxes do this to kids (and adults) with their branding and mascots.

twitter screen shot

Finally, Vanessa spoke about capturing attention.

She spoke about a spectrum of attraction that users are on when they visit your website or online presence.

When you have too much or too little, you can really hamper people from making decisions.

Sounds and animations (like gifs and auto start videos) can grab attention, but too much and they annoy or distract people from the surrounding content.

Too few or too many choices will also cause a user to pause when making a decision.

There’s always an issue with dropping too many links in an article. You have to find the right balance so you should always be testing.

They did find out what kind of things and buttons people like clicking on. Start Here, Entry Level Products, Freeiums, etc…

We started to run out of time toward the end but I’m telling you it was one of the better workshops I attended at SXSW and I was very impressed with amount of information.

It’s not “If You’ll Be Disrupted”, it’s “When You’ll Be Disrupted” – Crowd Companies at SXSW 2015


Customers don’t care about your brand if you don’t care about them.

The quote above came out of a private session with Edelman and Crowd Companies and I thought it was very appropriate to the food industry.

Many things are changing with our customers.

Are you keeping up with the changes or just wishing things would go back to what they were before?

My grandpa used to say “You can wish in one hand and spit in the other, which do you think will fill up first?” Well, it might be a little different than that but this is the G version.

Anyway, Crowd Companies with Jeremiah Owyang (you should follow him) pulled together a great lineup to speak about disruptions in their industry and how they were handling them.

Whole Foods spoke about their relationship with Instacart. – for those of you that don’t know Instacart deliveries groceries to you in an hour. Instacart was also featured in American Foods 2.0 (another session I attended).

WF was noticing more and more Instacart employees in their stores getting groceries.

This could have been seen as highly disruptive to Whole Foods – I mean, their stores are meant to attract people and keep people inside to enjoy their shopping and sampling experience (this is why they spend a lot of time on educating their employees on customer service) and clearly Instacart is taking away the customer experience.

Instead of kicking them out and banning them from the stores, Whole Foods met with Instacart and figured out how they could work together. How could they make the Instacart/Whole Foods experience like going to Whole Foods.

So they started experimenting with things like they have set up remote registers so Instacart can easily ring things up as well as putting refrigerator units near the doors so Instacart people can get things quickly and efficiently. They worked on integrating their customer service people so Instacart could answer food questions like Whole Foods does. How smart is that?

One of the speakers said, “How can we figure out how to disrupt ourselves before someone else does?

That’s important as you look at the image above with gallon jugs in the refrigerator section. The dairy industry is ripe for disruption in all aspects of farming, production, packaging and experience.

That’s why I think the Common Voice network (if you want to know more about Common Voice, just email me) along with many of our new initiatives are important to the industry overall. Common Voice brings up these kinds of questions and we work together as an entire industry to figure out solutions.

You have to anticipate where the customer is going and meet them there with the products they want at the time they want it.

The gallon jug? It’s still useful in bulk capacity for some customers but there’s a lot of other ways people could get milk or a milk beverage. But right now, there are tons of other choices and few are milk based.

Hallmark was also there presenting and they spoke of the new maker movement – where people create speciality items and sell them online for special occasions.

Instead of ignoring this new movement of creators, Hallmark embraced them and showcased their goods right alongside the standard Hallmark fare as well as brought in these artists to teach others how to make these speciality goods.

They didn’t have to do this – they could fight the good fight and keep wishing that their past customers would come back and fill the stores wanting the exact same experience in identical stores – but they did and it’s successful at getting people back in the stores.

This showcases Hallmark as an organizer of hard to find handmade goods for special occasions not just “dustables” as they referred to them. Love that term by the way.

Next up was Verizon and they spoke about their special projects in helping the auto industry use their technology to turn car ownership into car rental-ship by using their mobile devices. This from a telecom?


Finally, I’ll finish with Jeremiah’s Crowd Companies Disruption chart. He’s charting out companies that are disrupting industries and could possibly end up becoming the newest leaders in our new economy – the sharing economy.



Courtesy of Jeremiah Owyang and Crowd Companies

What do you think?

And if you think that disruption isn’t really a thing – that’s it’s still too new – consider that I used Lyft instead of traditional taxis almost the entire time I was at SXSW to get around. I was more comfortable having a stranger pick me up in their car vs. waiting on cab.


Because I love the technology. It’s shows me the driver and his car, the ratings, it tracks where they are on their way to get you, and I don’t have to use cash or credit card. And they were faster. They changed my habits and I’m happy for it.

Is ag ready for this disruption?

I think we should be thinking about how to disrupt ourselves before someone else comes along and does it. Get involved with Common Voice. It’s the smart disruptive thing to do.

Want a 13% Increase In Sales? Boost Your Word of Mouth Marketing Efforts – SXSW 2015


Great session at SXSW 2015

Another session I attended at SXSW 2015 was the landmark study of the Return on Word of Mouth (you can get the study by filling out their form) by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

Yes, I know this is what they do and, of course, the study was probably pushing towards a good return but I was impressed with the results and the fact they used some major companies to prove their point.

Here are the five points from the Return on Word of Mouth Study.

Word of Mouth has a 13% increase in sales.

We always knew that WOM increases sales but we really didn’t know by how much. A 13% increase is nothing to sneeze at.

Paid marketing on the other hand account for 20% in sales.

Paid marketing is everything you are doing internally – even the stuff to get your Word of Mouth going. But then consumers take care of the rest. So 27% of your sales can be attributed to paid and WOM.

Word of Mouth amplifies the effect of paid media by 15%.

The good thing here is that if you want a boost to your paid marketing you need to incorporate social media. It’s worth the time and effort considering how much you would need to pay paid efforts to get that boost.

When you break down WOM into offline and online (and most WOM is offline – estimates are around 90%), online accounts for 1/3 of the boost to sales.

That’s a great statistic for online Word of Mouth especially when it’s only 10% of overall WOM.

Finally, WOM has an immediate effect.

A common myth of word of mouth marketing is that it takes forever for you to see the effects but this study shows that WOM after two weeks of exposure to a product, offline word of mouth has 65-80% of total impact while TV ads have only a 30-60% of total impact for the same time.

So what does this mean for the dairy industry?

When it comes to product marketing, you need to be tying all paid marketing with social media to get the boost you need.

For instance, instead of laying out my traditional buys for product marketing first, I would look at how I could drive word of mouth both online and offline and then use traditional marketing/advertising to drive awareness to the word of mouth campaigns.

Normally, we use in store samples. How about instead of thinking about in-store samples, we use online store samples – can we ship to customer’s homes and then ask them to share their experience online via social networks?

Can we use our TV advertising to drive people to online sign-ups to get the product to test?

Or maybe we decide to do the in store sample. Then if they like it, we offer them the whole product if we can get them to take their picture with the product and post it online? Or write a favorable review of the experience on our website?

Traditional advertising and paid marketing is a necessity but when combined with the interaction of social, we can drive some serious ROI.

And here’s a cool infographic they put together for it.


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