Understanding Your Customers Using Data & Psychology with @aprilseifert
We talk with podcast host & data expert April Seifert about using psychology to not only figure out your user's needs and desires, but also your own behavior and habits
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey, everyone, welcome to Twin Cities collective podcast. I'm your host Jenna Redfield, and today we have a special guest, a bolt Seifert. She is a psychologist and life design strategist. Welcome. Thank you. This is awesome. I'm so excited to have you here at Studio America.
Unknown Speaker 1:18
This isn't that beautiful. It is
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:20
beautiful here this great. And you have your own podcast, which I'm sure we'll talk about. So I guess I don't even know. Let's start at the beginning. So you are saying I've never had a psychologist on the podcast? I'm excited
Unknown Speaker 1:32
to be number one. Yeah, so
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:34
I actually took psychology in high school and I AP psych. And then in college, I actually was a communications major, but I took a psych trip to Europe. And we got to see, like we're afraid, lived in Austria. And like we went to all these like psychology things. So that's like, basically all I know about technology is this one trip to Europe. And like one semester class in high school. So going to Europe
April Seifert 1:56
to learn psychology is not a bad gig, though. I know,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:59
vacation ever, like when we go to shopping go to museums.
April Seifert 2:04
And just in general, of course is great. So how did you get into that? Was that something you went to school for? It was Yeah. So officially on paper. I'm a social cognitive psychologist, I've my PhD in social psych. And basically what that is, it's the type of psychology that we study how people encode and organize and use information about people in social settings, and then how that information, and that encoding affects their behavior. So like, this deals with the part of the brain that is very habitual will say, so your brain is super good at recognizing patterns. So things that co occur together in just your environment. So when you see certain groups of people acting a certain way, or behaving a certain way, repeatedly over and over, whether that's in public, just in day to day life, or whether that's on the media, your brain says, Hey, cool, okay, so those two things keep happening together, I'm going to encode that information really close together in your mind, so that when one thing comes to mind, the other one immediately does, because it's very adaptive in that way. So the stuff that I look at, looks at how all of that encoding happens. And then the ways that it both helps you and then super doesn't help you in some ways in your day to day life.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 3:25
That's really interesting, because I think that really affects business owners too. Mm hmm. Like, and I know, that's probably why you've kind of gone down this route of women entrepreneurs and everyone that you work with, like, people, I love the white, why do people do things? You know, why? Why do people think certain way? And that's pretty much what you do, right? It's kind
April Seifert 3:42
of it is it is, and a lot of what I look at these days is like, we have, we have sets of beliefs about everything and and just think of, I'm just going to call them beliefs just because it's easier to talk about in this setting. But we have sets of beliefs about everything about how things shouldn't shouldn't work, and how people, certain people do and don't act, we also have those beliefs about ourselves. So people who are listening to this, if you just mentally fill in the sentence, people like me, what, like people like me do what are people like me, don't what, and that sentence right there, the sentence about our identity and our beliefs about ourselves can impact the size of goal we would set, whether we would even pursue something like entrepreneurship, people like me don't do things like that. People who came from places that I came from, do not do things like that. And you learn those things over time, that can impact how much money you make, it can impact, you know, places you're willing to go people you're willing to talk to. And that's the type of stuff that I really focus on these days.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:48
So is that kind of like mindset? Or like, what are some other words for that?
April Seifert 4:51
Yeah, I mean, I think in in lay terms these days where people see it in, like the personal development space, which, when I say lay terms, I just mean available more widely than the nerdy journal articles that get published where no one will ever find them. That space uses the word mindset a lot. I think that word is fine. It's really around these habitual, these habitual pairings that your brain comes up with. So like you as a construct, what information gets encoded about you? What are you? Are you strong? Are you a risk taker? Are you someone who would take on a really big goal? Are you someone who makes a lot of money? like who are you? And that shapes your behavior, because it all happens very automatically and outside of your awareness? So it's kind of like an identity equals what you do very much, so very much so. And your behavior, other people's behavior, all of that will shape what that identity is.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:48
Yeah, that's so interesting, because I think it goes back to I'm sure, you're probably talking about like childhood and stuff. Like, is that like a huge part of it, too?
April Seifert 5:57
Yeah, what we're told as kids is huge be because, you know, we hear explicit rules from people, right? Sit down, be quiet, with I do a lot with women and things that women hear a lot. And this is really salient to me, because I have two daughters. People expect my daughters to be much quieter than, you know, boys who might be in the room, like girls are sugar and spice and all things nice, right? But what that equates to, and when you hear that over and over, your brain doesn't know, like, it doesn't know that that's stupid. And that's a dumb nursery rhyme. It just knows, I keep hearing this information, this must be important. And so it's not discerning at all. It just encodes that information about you. And later on, when you're say, in a business setting, or you're ready to negotiate a big contract, or you're, you know, ready even if you're not an entrepreneur, you're ready to ask your boss for a raise. All that information starts coming up about you like no, actually, I'm supposed to be quiet. I'm not supposed to make a big splash. I'm not supposed to be the one who's loud or big, or doing something outside of my comfort zone, which was defined by other people.
And it really impacts what we do.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:09
Hmm. That's really interesting. So that's kind of like the idea of habits. Yeah. What are your thoughts on those? Because is that more just things that people have been told over and over again,
April Seifert 7:21
behaviorally, so behavioral habits, think about like, basketball player, right? The best thing that basketball players can do in terms of free throws, is make that people talk about muscle memory all the time. So keep practicing, keep practicing, do shoot free throws, shoot free throws, shoot free throws, and you're doing it over and over and over. So that when you're nervous, or you're under stress during a game, you can automatically go back to that same behavior, that same movement, golf is another one, you swing the same way. Baseball, you swing the same way over and over, and you're trying to develop a habit with us. And so things that people again, may have seen in personal development literature and other places, you know, something like an affirmation, it sounds so dumb, it sounds so dumb, right? Like, I'm going to get up every morning and say, Wow, I'm amazing. I'm amazing. But your brain doesn't know that it's dumb, in the same way that it doesn't know that sugar and spice in all things nice is a dumb nursery rhyme that little kids get told, it doesn't know. So you literally can change the way that your information or the way that your brain will go grab relevant information, what it thinks is relevant, you can literally change it by telling yourself that over and over,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:34
that's so interesting, because a lot of people think like affirmations are like pseudoscience, but you think that it's real, like I do, it's, it's something that your brain actually does change because of them
April Seifert 8:44
over and over and over. And it's not going to happen in a day or a week or a month or whatever. But if you're telling yourself the same thing over and over and over and the other thing that you can do. There's a there's a cognitive bias called the confirmation bias. Yeah, it's like crazy happening right now. So I don't care what your political leanings are. I don't care what your beliefs about gun control, and abortion and all these topics, right? That really heated ones that like or make people not want to be on social media, or like go to holidays with their family? Yeah. You could have a crazy aunt who believes the exact opposite of you who can find proof, what she believes is credible proof for what her beliefs are about any of those controversial topics. And so can you and both of you are operating with this confirmation bias happening, you're more likely to find and believe and give credibility to information that holds up a pre existing belief. But what you can do with that confirmation bias is you can decide, I'm going to create a new belief. And I'm going to intentionally find evidence that it's true. So like, I might deep down believe that I'm a terrible mom. But I want to construct a new belief that you know what, I'm a great mom. And so I'm going to continue to find intentionally information that shows that I'm a good mom, I did a great job this morning, I made a really great breakfast for my girls this morning, we had a really fun time playing. I got up with my daughter. And she smiled more than I've seen her smile in a week this morning. That was wonderful. And it was because I was engaging with her. And that makes me a good mom. So you're feeding that repetition, but you're also giving it evidence and giving it behavioral evidence that it's true. And your your brain just beliefs. Yeah. So so I feel like I see this a lot in the twins this collective community is people have so many doubts about themselves. And I know it's definitely a bigger thing with women to how do we help with beyond affirmations? Like how do we actually change the way we think about ourselves? Mm hmm. You know, it's so interesting, because I think fear is something that plays into that so much like, we doubt ourselves, we're afraid to fail, we're afraid to be imperfect, we're afraid like, if we start something and decide that we don't like it, or it's not right for us, we're afraid to change our mind. And so much of that comes down to what is at the root of that fear, like what's at the bottom of that fear? And is it realistic. So lots of times people get afraid that other people are going to judge them. And that is also a very old think evolutionary very, very old brain sort of thing that at one point was very logical. If people didn't like you, and you got kicked out of the tribe, like you're kind of screwed, you're not going to be able to hunt enough for yourself and care for your kids and whatever, you need a tribe around you. So it's this ingrained thing that, you know, evolutionarily, we just haven't caught up to how modern society works. Now, we just get really scared about other people's opinions. So when you get to the root of it, ultimately, the thing that I like to ask people is, does that other person whose opinion you're worried about? Do they actually? Are they actually valid in getting to have an opinion about that? about you? Like, who cares? So you took yoga classes, and you told your friends, like, Hey, I'm really excited, I'm going to start taking yoga classes, and you decide you hate them. And you don't want to do it anymore. And you take a photography class, and they're like, I thought you were doing yoga. Who cares? Did they get to have an opinion about how you spend your time? Do they get to have an opinion about what you write in your blog, or the way that you like to take photos? Or the fact that you're trying to take photos in a new way? And you're not very good at it yet? And who cares? But you like it? They don't get to have an opinion about that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:35
That's so true. I think that social media makes it harder to because I think I've been asked about this, on your podcast, we're going to be I'm gonna be on your podcast. And we just did the interview. And I think you asked like, what's the future of social media? And I was like, you know, I think the vulnerability part is actually going to be bigger. Yeah. Like, I think people are kind of sick of being the fake and perfect. Like, there's been kind of a movement on Instagram lately, too, show those imperfections, a lot of people that have just had babies, showing their stomachs and showing, you know, showing like, oh, it doesn't like, this is me a week after giving birth, like, you know, this is real. And I think people are really, for the first time ever actually telling the truth and sharing what's really going on. I've ever seen that all I have. Yeah,
April Seifert 13:19
I mean, and that's something that I'm definitely trying to do with my podcast, too, is, like, I told my story in every gory detail, my story of postpartum depression and PTSD that resulted from it. In every gory detail. I talked about that story, my backstory, I have multiple sclerosis, I was diagnosed at a very young age, there was some crazy stuff with that, I've told that whole story. And what I think that does for people, both the person who's being more real and authentic, and people who are seeing it, I believe it's much, much more mentally healthy to do that. Because if you've ever had to live in a way that was opposite of what your values are, of what your identity is, of who you are, it's really hard to like yourself, when your behavior. This is another psych thing. It's called cognitive dissonance, right? Like, I believe one thing, I value one thing, I know I am this particular person, yet my behavior is not in accordance with it, people can begin to just load themselves because of it. It just eats you alive.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:29
So we talked. So April, and I actually met at the mastermind with the asthma, which was awesome. So good. So great. And you and we'll talk a little bit more about you did an exercise with lunch. I like Do you remember me crying? I know. I'm so surprised. I was surprised to and then it felt so upset. Okay, so there's so many things to say. But before I want to talk about that one of the things I remember. Yes. And I mentioned and I don't know if it was you or someone? The pratfall effect, you remember when she talked about? Yeah. Where it's basically like, by sharing a part of yourself? That's vulnerable? Yeah. Can negative people can relate to more? Yeah, that's kind of what's happening, I think. Yeah. But let's talk about the bathroom a little bit, because you did this exercise where it was like a visualization. Can you kind of explain I mean, you don't have to do it on the podcast, we have time. But I was gonna say, but just tell talk a little bit about what that is, and what that looks like.
April Seifert 15:18
Yeah, totally. So it's this visualization. You know, women in general, and probably women listening to this, I bet you've gotten this advice, like, wow, I want to start something new, I want to do something big, I'm really nervous about it, the first thing people to tell you to do is go get a mentor, like, go find somebody outside yourself, who knows better than you, who knows more than you. I'm not dogging on that. There are tons of people out there who have experienced things that I haven't done, and I definitely look to them to see, you know, are there clues to how I could get there faster. But we stop there. And we do that to our own detriment to the point that we forget that we're not dumb people, there's actually a lot of wisdom inside of us. And so this visual realization helps tap into that by helping people both relax and get present. And then imagine themselves in some amount of time in the future. And I kind of morph this depending upon what the audience in the room is. But imagine yourself in 15 years, and we go through this very detailed visualization about who that person is and what she's like, with 15 years of life experience on you 15 years more maturity, 15 years more time to make mistakes and learn from them and what she like. And most people find a woman who is much more at ease, who is much more self confident, who you know, has the confidence to set boundaries in her life that allows her to do the things that she actually wants to do. And so then we go through, that's kind of the the visualization and psychology piece of it. And then I lead people down more of a design thinking exercise where we determine Okay, what does she look like? And how is she different from you today? And what small steps can you take on a day to day basis to bring yourself more in alignment with her. So again, you're using small things like, like my woman wears crisp cotton, pajama pants, and Damn it if I didn't go to gap and buy three pairs of cotton pajama pants that I wear. And again, that seems so stupid. But our brains don't know that that Q is a silly little Q. My brain just knows. This woman who is so comfortable and moves with ease in the morning doesn't rush around like crazy person. She wears those pants throughout her morning while she eats breakfast. And I do it too. And I can feel myself relax. The more I've done this and repeated it. Our brains just they don't. They don't catch on to this like silly little game we're playing. They just believe us.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:48
Yeah, I mean, I just remember going through it. It was so real. Like, I felt like I was like in a dream. It was weird. So glad. It was like I had never i think that i think and I cried really hard. I don't know. Like I I just I don't know what it was. But I think I just was like I never thought about the future that far in advance. You know, like, like, really thought about it and pictured myself there. I think that was why I was so emotional was I was like I only think like months in advance. Yeah, yeah. And like, it was great, because it was like things that i i think i really really internally just really wanted in my life. Yeah. And like just seeing them in like happen. It was very emotional for me. And I was like so shocked because I was like, I don't know why I'm crying so much. But then like I did again, we did that Kylie's thing. And I was like, fine. Yeah, it was just like, it was a different vision, though. Yeah, interesting. So I did it like the same thing again. And it was very different. Very weird. I love it. But so let's talk a little bit about like dessert like, like designing so that like so kind of explain like what you do. Because I feel like we haven't really talked about like what you do for a job, like, what is your actual day to day look like? And then what is your business because I feel like that will help us kind of figure out like what we can help us with? Yeah, totally. It's very common complicated these days, but
April Seifert 19:02
we'll split it into two sides of the coin. So during the day, my official job, I'm entrepreneur hundred percent of the time, but most of my day is spent with a growth strategy firm called sprocket, I co founded that firm with two business partners. And we use a combination of human centered design techniques, some lateral thinking techniques, really a lot of innovation and imagination work, combined with data science, to help companies typically mid sized businesses small to mid sized businesses, we help them grow their revenue with their customers. So we're not an acquisition firm. We don't help you with Google ads, or anything like that. But we really help you snuggle up much more closely with your existing customers, and make sure that you're not leaving money on the table. And one of the biggest ways we do that is through customer experience, design, like making sure that you know those people well, and you're serving them well. So that's kind of a daytime stuff. And I focus on data science for that company. I code a lot, I spend a lot of time with statistics, a lot of very left brain stuff in the cracks of all of that, and at other times, I run the women inspired podcast, which is available everywhere, you can just google and search for women inspired, and there's me in a blue shirt on my cover art. I run that podcast, which has been just wonderful. And from that the work that I've started doing more recently came about and that is essentially using my background in design with that I've come to know and love so much from sprocket using that background in design, and pairing it with my background in psychology to help people get really intentional and focused about the direction they want their life to go. I spend a ton of time. This may sound weird, but I spent a ton of time focusing on the concept of mortality, the fact that you're only getting more life because it gives people permission to actually do the hard work. Like if you need to make a hard decision, knowing that you only get one shot to be here. And you don't want to live with regret. That helps people make hard decisions, which might be quitting a job, or it might be moving or something really big like that. So we really we use Human Centered Design to get to know the person and what their strengths are, what their values are, I mean all of those pieces. And then we use design thinking approaches and psychology to help them start to steer the Titanic of their life like steer their ship more in alignment with who they really are. Get rid of some of that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:36
So how does that is that mostly with people? Like I know, you probably mostly work with women in that part. But so is it mostly people that have their own businesses already? Or is it people that are just anyone,
April Seifert 21:47
it could be anyone. Right now I'm running a six week program called Life Design Lab. It's closed for now. But if you go to my website April Cypher calm, you can get some information and sign up for the waitlist. But life design lab, we I've got people in there who have traditional jobs, who might be interested in doing something else. I've got people who are entrepreneurial, who really want to get alignment in their life. Things can really get out of hand when you're an entrepreneur, like you control how much time you spend on things, for better or worse. And sometimes having a framework to help you set those boundaries and make decisions can really help. So I've got people in, in that area of life and then everywhere in between, you know jobs with side hustlers, and all of that.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:35
Awesome Well, we're gonna take a really quick break with a phone though Varitek? Are you looking for more one on one help with Instagram and with social media in general, I'm really excited because Twin Cities collective now offers one on one Instagram audits as well as one on one Instagram setup. So if you need help with your systems, or your Instagram account, head on over to Twin Cities collective com, click on the work with us tab and you'll find all the different consulting services that we offer, including where we sit down with you on Instagram and teach you how to use Instagram, as well as setting up services like MailChimp, your Squarespace website, Google Analytics, all of those different things that you might need more one on one support with. So if you're interested, go to our website and learn more about our Instagram consulting. Thanks, guys. Hey, everyone, I just wanted to tell you about something new that we're offering at Twin Cities, collective Instagram consulting services, whether you're just needing help one on one with understanding Instagram, maybe getting some feedback on your account, or you're needing something a little bit beyond that, and having me help you set up your brand photos, and kind of getting your Instagram kick started and launched. Or if you need help with your website, or other things like setting up Google Analytics, setting up your facebook pixel, we now have different consulting options on the Twin Cities collective website, just go to Twin Cities, click dot com, and click on the work with us tab and you will find all the different options including Instagram audits, set up your systems as well as our 30 days of posts, Instagram launch package, I hope you guys check those out. And now back to the podcast. Alright, we're back with April. And I think what you do is so interesting, because I think, for me, I'm such a scatter brain. So for me having like frameworks and having things that like kind of set me on our path is so important. But I do want to talk about consumer behavior and not like knowing who your audiences I think that's kind of what you deal with is like, Who are your customers? Like, what is their journey? How so how do you kind of do that? And like, what does that look like?
April Seifert 24:43
One of the most basic things that we do with companies, we've done this with a number of companies.
We've worked with apparel brands and professional sports teams, and a lot in the security space, which is kind of funny, home and cyber, a little strange. But a lot of what we do is help our clients get to know their core customers at a very deep level. So this gets into people may have heard of personas is an or sometimes in the digital world, in the online marketing world. It's called an avatar. We work with our clients to get to know who's that primary Avatar and then who else might be coming along for the ride? Because then you can really start to think about all right, who are they? how similar or different? Are they? how similar or different? Are they to my brand? Like, what is it about my brand that's attracting that key avatar? And are there tiny changes I can make to my brand that makes some of those secondary avatars more excited about me, or will that alienate my primary avatar. So we go through a lot of I mean, there's one. And this can be something as simple as us sitting down with a strategy session with that business owner to do what we call provisional personas. So provisional meaning they're not data related. But we're going to use some design thinking methodology to get you to think about your customers in a different way that you haven't ever done before, to uncover more information about them than you've ever had before. And we're going to construct personas that way. We can go all the way up, though, to the point where I'll actually take a snapshot of a company's database or any day, you don't even have to have a database, like any data I can get my hands on, will create a database on our side and integrate all that data. Sometimes for the first time a company sees their data integrated, will create an integrated database. And we'll start using something that's called unsupervised machine learning. So crazy, crazy machine learning that, you know, runs your spam filter and drives self driving cars. And it's the reason why your iPhone 10 recognizes your face when you try to open it, stuff like that these crazy models, we use those models to identify who are those groups of customers. So we can go from something that doesn't require data to the sledgehammer holy grail approach that we would use all your data and everywhere in between. But the goal is, Who are those key customers? And what is it that drives them? What's their motivation? What are their barriers? What, you know, what are their belief systems and their values that lead them to act in accordance with them?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 27:29
That's so interesting, because I don't think a lot of people with small businesses Think about this. So how, like for, I guess, just thinking about the people listening are probably, you know, one person operation small, super small businesses. Like I use Google Analytics, which is super helpful to see who is coming to my website, where they come from, how long they stay on there. And I haven't really talked about we've mentioned it, but I haven't really talked about like, analytics and the importance of it. But I feel like, every time I tell people, I'm like, Oh, you don't have enough set up on your website, you need to do that. It's crazy. Because it's so easy. It's very easy. It's just a line of code. But basically, I remember there was a time in my, in my business where I was, like, checking it constantly. I was like, obsessed with like, yeah, okay, why? why aren't people staying longer? Like, you know, it's all that, you know, you had a little bit, but, but I think that it's so valuable, because I think what what what the data tells you is what the people aren't telling you. Right? Exactly. Yeah, I think that what I remember back when I was doing stock photos, people I would ask, I would pull I do this a lot. So chances are because I do polls, I say, Would you rather do it this day? Or this day? Or would you rather do this or this? And sometimes people tell me one thing? Yeah. And then and then the data and actual sales? Tell me something else? Yeah. So that's interesting to me. So how does how does that like, work with data? And like figuring out what people want? Yeah, totally. So
April Seifert 28:49
there, I mean, there's kind of an age old, saying around, if you would have asked, like, nobody asks for a quarter inch drill bit. Like that's what they'll say they need. But ultimately, what they're trying to get done, is they want to drill a quarter inch hole. Like, you have to think about what it is that ultimately people are trying to do, ultimately, what is it that their goal is, and that can help you understand behavior. So like ga is really interesting, because Google Analytics is really interesting. Because if you drop that on your site, let's say you're a blogger, right, and you drop the Google Analytics code on your site, and you start tracking traffic, and all of that, you can really gain some insight into what your key customer persona avatar wants, go into your blog and look at traffic to each of your blog posts. And the blog posts that are at the top. What is it about them? So now you're you're taking data, right? The best thing you can do with data, in my opinion, is you take the hard data, right, you're standing on firm ground, at that point, you have a number to back it up, it is, you know, my average time on site is two minutes and 37 seconds. I know that machine is telling me that's measuring it, right. But then you can go to those blog posts that people are staying on longer, and it's leading them to click other things. And the ones that get tons and tons of visitors. And you pull those aside, and now you start to leave the shore a little bit right, you start to float away from the shore, because you're like, what's causing that topically? Is it the topic? Is that similar amongst all of these blog posts? Are they a similar length? Did I promote them differently? Are there embedded links in some of them? Not in others? Am I you know, featuring an interview with somebody? What is it about them, because that can help you use little nuggets of that to drive traffic in future blog posts to make them more similar to what people are really enjoying?
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:49
So this is exactly what I've done. I actually had a really well successful blog post couple years ago. Yeah. And I created similar posts. And they also did really well. Yeah. It was like, I saw the pattern. It was like the best Do It Yourself YouTube channels. So it was like it was like a curated list. Yeah. So people were looking up on Google, like best DIY YouTube channels, and my post would come up because the keywords matched. And it was like a list. So they could just click on it and see it all based off of my opinion on the best Do It Yourself YouTube channels. So it's like that one to this day. And then when I moved my website and merged my rep website, the car, I just moved it over and sent the link and I still get a lot of clicks on it because SEO kind of has moved with it. But I think it's so interesting, because a lot of people, they they might go viral and be like, Well, why? You know, like what? And I think realizing what it is that then that moved people or that like got them to click. I think it's all psychology, I think marketing, everything marketing psychology. And so that's why I like marketing, because it's like I'm but sometimes I'm like, I don't always know how other people think. Yeah, I know how I think it's hard sometimes to put yourself in somebody else's shoes when you're not them. So how does that work?
April Seifert 32:04
I think that's why testing is really interesting. I mean, it's never been easier to AB test something. I think that is really important. That'll give you actually hard data on whether something's doing one. One version of something is doing better than another version. Another tip that I have something that we really love that I heard about maybe a year ago, it's really common. Maybe you've talked about it on the podcast, but story brand. Do you know,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:31
I Oh my god, I love
Unknown Speaker 32:32
him. I love me too much. I love him.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:34
I listen to his podcast, I actually listened to an episode over Thanksgiving on the Amy Porterfield podcast of him she did such a good job with oh my gosh, I tell people all the time. That's if there's one podcast episode ever listened to listen to the Amy Porterfield podcast with Donald Miller. I was I had to listen to it twice. Yeah, so good. Yes. And oh my gosh, sorry. There's one example
April Seifert 32:53
just from that podcast that I'll give because it is like seared in my brain. Okay, everybody's been to the networking event, right? Where people will walk up to you and they say, what do you do? Right? And what his example was, he said, Well, what a lot of people would say if they were me is Oh, I'm a marketing specialist, or I'm a branding specialist. Okay, cool. Interesting. That's not what he says though. The story brand new approach uses the arc of the hero's journey, right? There's a hero, there's a guide, there's something that the hero needs to learn or conquer or get over or do in order to either win something or avoid failure, right? Like there's it's every movie that's ever been made ever, ever, ever. Right? Yes, he even intersperses that hero's journey into the way he introduces himself. So they'll say, hey, Donald, what do you do? And he'll say, Well, you know how a lot of business owners have a really hard time quickly telling their customers what they do. Well, I'm, I'm a branding specialist, and I help people use the arc of the hero's journey to be able to connect to their customers a little bit better. So he basically tells people what the problem is that they have, and they instantly get interested, because now he's telling a story of you, the business owner who have the same problem. Look at me, your guide who has a solution who can help guide you through it. It was so stinking brilliant, freaking out.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 34:19
I know it's funny because I had heard about him and stuff. And I never until that episode, I didn't realize like how powerful his it's a framework immediately. It is it's great. I actually talked about this at our Instagram growth workshop, I put up a power like a slide about him. It's amazing because I'm like, this is so good. The guide is not the hero because we always talk about the hero's journey. Yeah, I went to film school. In film school. We talked about the hero's journey, Star Wars, all these things I literally had like papers I wrote about the hero's journey, like this is stuff I learned in college. Yeah. And then to see it from a different perspective of when you're a business owner. You need to be the guide and not the you are Yoda. Yeah. Yeah. So that was my mind blowing to me. Yeah, because I've always thought I was the hero. Yeah, of my business. And I'm right now I'm
April Seifert 35:02
the guy. You're Yoda. Or you are. What's the dude in the Devil Wears Prada who like helps her get dressed? character? That guy? You're that guy? You are not her? Uh huh. Your customer? Is her your customer? is Luke Skywalker.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:17
That's Oh, my gosh, I'm so glad we brought that up because I feel good. I think that a lot of people this is one of the biggest things I learned about running consists collective is you have to think about your customer. First. I don't think about myself first, I think okay, well, what does what does the audience want? And not what what can I provide? But what do they want that I can provide? Again, because it's like, there's times where I'm like I can do? For example, one of the things I'm really good at is video and editing and YouTube production. But I realized over time, I'm like, well, 95% of my audience doesn't want that. So it's like, even though I really like it. If I offer it, I don't think I'll get them any bites, because there's not that many people that are going to do it. Right. So when I switch to Okay, well, everyone needs help with Instagram. Hmm, that's where I kind of found what I really like Instagram, too. So that's why I focus on that, because I was like, well, the audience really, really, I feel like they respond anytime I mentioned or Instagram people just latch on. Yeah. So it's like you have to go based off of past experiences and what you kind of think people want. So when you're helping people do their life design strategy? How do you get to the core of what they want? Yeah,
April Seifert 36:25
yeah. It's interesting, because to me, like, I believe people know, I believe people know, deep down, what I think people have a hard time doing is being brutally honest with themselves, we get stuck in something called sunk cost. So I've worked at this job for 10 years, I can throw all of that away, like the cost that that has had. It's called sunk cost. Like, I can't throw this all away, Oh, my gosh. And if you're really being honest with yourself, and you hate your job, and it eats up all the time that you have, and you can't see your kids, and you can't have any hobbies, or do anything that you want to do, and you don't even have weekends anymore. You know what the answer like you do, you're just not willing to admit it to yourself. So honesty is a really big thing we talked about. And we talked about it from the perspective of again, putting all this together, like, let's smash all these things together. I'm not the hero here on the guide, you don't owe me anything, you don't have to be honest with me, you don't have told me what you want to do. But Dang it, be honest with yourself. And again, going back to something we really started with around identity. You want to learn how to love yourself, be your own best friend, your best friend shows up when she says she's gonna show up, your best friend does the things for you, she says she's gonna do be your own best friend, show up for yourself. Like, don't lie to yourself, right? Like, be that person who is kind and honest, and does the things that she said she's going to do the things she committed to doing. But be that person for yourself first, because you're that person for everybody else. And so when you do that, you can start to say, you know what, I do really hate my job. And I don't love going to lunch all the time with that friend who drains me. I mean, I can be there for her. But I can't be there for her all the time. Because guess what, she's she's living her own life. And we talk a lot, a lot A lot about a concept that I call radical responsibility. And that is taking 100% responsibility for 100% of the situations you find yourself in. That doesn't mean you're at fault. That doesn't mean you're to blame. That doesn't mean you put yourself in that situation, right? The example I always give is, if you have a spouse and a cheat on you, and they leave you, it wasn't your fault. You didn't do that. That's their fault. But Dang it, it's up to you to move forward and make yourself happy. Because guess what, that person's not coming back, like, they're not going to do it. And if you're waiting for them, you're giving that control back to that person, and you're going to be waiting a long dang time. You should be happy today, because you're getting one life you're getting today once. That's it. And I'm not saying like, go fake and pretend like you're happy all the time. But start to think about what emotion Do you want to feel today? And what tends to elicit that emotion and go do more of that shoot for 51%? Like slightly more than more than not, you're you're doing pretty well. And so I think when people are super honest, and when they really take responsibility. That's when the most amazing things have happened with the people that I've worked with. They've quit jobs they've moved, they've ended relationships that they shouldn't have, I mean, the stuff that deep down, we know we need to do, that's when they're able to do it,
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:37
is it? Is it somebody else kind of triggering that? Or is it within themselves,
April Seifert 39:42
I realize it 100% within themselves. Because when you really like, I'm going to go back to this concept of mortality. I'm not joking. When I say in my household between my husband and I, we talk about the concept of mortality daily. Now he's an ER physician. So he's sees crazy things every day, which naturally prompts the conversation. But I lost my dad, when I was 11, I was very face to face with the concept that we're only going to live once, right. And I don't mean that in like, yo, not in that concept. But like from the perspective of so many people at the end of their lives, they regret a very, very predictable set of things. And the bottom line, one that they regret is not letting themselves be happy. They regret living the life that other people wanted them to live, not living the life that they wanted to live. And that's heartbreaking when you think about at that point, you're at the end, and there's nothing you can do. You can do it now. Yeah. So the question that changed my life is I sat down one day, and I said, I've got this list of stuff that I want to try. And I'm scared because I think I'm going to do it in perfectly. And I'm afraid other people are going to judge me. And I'm afraid that, you know, what if I don't like it, and they're gonna think I'm a quitter, and all of those things that, you know, we all have people like me don't do things like this, all of those things, right? And I sat down and I thought, What would my dad who doesn't get the opportunity of today? Right? What would he give for the day that I'm wasting? Today? I'm like wasting time.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:15
Yeah, you said that a girl creative? Yeah, that's stuck with me. Yeah. Because I think that my grandma was disabled her whole life. Yeah. And it's like, I think about that. Yeah, she couldn't run, you know, like she was in a wheelchair, most of the rest of it like, second after life. And, like the fact that I can walk, you know, and the fact that I can run in that, like, I'm taking that for granted, or there's like, I'm healthy. I don't have, like, I have, I think gratitude. It's huge, a huge thing. And I think that I think we need to tell ourselves that and I think gratitude is something I need to work on. And I think it's something that helps a lot of people gratitude journals, gratitude, you know, kinda like affirmation.
April Seifert 42:00
It goes back to the same thing, you're training your brain, if people want to change their life, I'm not kidding, this will change your life. In 90 days. I like you can write to me hate mail. If it doesn't, if you do this, and it doesn't work, I will happily accept your hate mail, it's not going to happen. None of you are going to write to me. In 90 days, every single day, I want you to take one beautiful photo, I want you to find something that's beautiful. Take a picture of it with your phone and post it somewhere you have to tell people you're doing this doesn't matter. Even if you just post it in like an Evernote notebook, and you don't show it to anybody. It doesn't have to be on social. Just find one beautiful thing. Every single day, you are training your brain Pretty soon, about two to three weeks in your brain is going to be like Dang it, I need to find my beautiful thing today. And you're going to start looking for it. You know how awesome life is when your brain is constantly searching for beauty. That's really cool, like
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:54
stopping and smelling the roses. But for real.
April Seifert 42:56
But yeah, for real, like take a picture of something beautiful every single day for 90 days. And at the end of it, you're not going to want to stop because your brain is going to be like, Hey, I just I just walked past that gorgeous field filled with you know, Chris, new white snow and the sun is shining. Why the heck aren't you taking a picture of it? This is weird. This is like what we do now. Yeah. And you'll have a new mental habit that will change the lens that you'll view the world by 90 days.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:22
I think I think the only thing I disagree with is I think you should post it on social. I think people would love it if you would. But for the stories.
Unknown Speaker 43:29
Yeah, people would love it
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:30
or do that to a private account where it's like, if you want to follow my beautiful pictures. Here's the link. Yeah,
April Seifert 43:36
I did that. That exercise changed the end of my first pregnancy everybody talks about like, you're gonna be huge. It's gonna suck. It's everything's hard. You can put your shoes on. Oh my god, you can't put your socks on. None of that is wrong. It's all right. But I decided the last hundred days of my, my first pregnancy, I was going to take a picture of something beautiful. God changed the experience that I had, I still couldn't put my socks on.
smaller, so couldn't put my socks on. But man, the world looked a lot more gorgeous. So
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 44:09
that's such a great, that's a great actual thing that you can start today. Like practical,
April Seifert 44:15
do it. tag me in it. I want to see your photos, like if you do if you do post them tag me in. Awesome.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 44:21
So let's kind of finish up this episode. Let's talk a little bit about your podcast. Yeah. So how long have you been doing that? And what what kind of is the concept of it?
April Seifert 44:31
Yeah, so women inspired I've been doing it for two years. And it is, it's one of those things that you start on a whim because you don't know any better hundred percent. And you realize how much work it is. But you realize, like you never realized you could love something so much. So I started women inspired because I found that I had these amazing women around me who were doing incredible things and not taking credit for them. We don't want to brag, we don't want to boast like that's not something nice women do. We don't brag about ourselves. But the downside to that is that for that individual woman, if she doesn't celebrate her success, her brain will never realize how powerful she is. You just go on to the next thing and you never pay attention. And you never signal to your brain. This is an important piece of information that I just hit the 10,000 follower mark on Instagram, or that I just published a blog post that got picked up in four different places, or that I just launched my first yada yada and actually made money from something I made. You know, we don't, your brain doesn't realize that that's important if you don't pay attention to it. So that was a downside. And then to other women who want to do something big, you don't go for things that you don't know exist, right? Like it's hard to chase a goal you don't even think is possible. And it's really amazing when you can see a woman who has kids just like you, and here's how she's getting over it, who started a business just like you you did and fell on her face. But she kept going. It's really, really interesting to see what that does for the size of people's goals when they can see other women similar to them achieving those goals.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 46:12
That's really I love that. It's just,
April Seifert 46:14
I've interviewed I mean, these people who say yes, to me, it's just incredible. I've interviewed a Holocaust survivor. I interviewed a woman who went down on the Miracle on the Hudson plane crash. Yeah, totally CEOs of companies, World Champion skydivers, Highland. So many amazing people. And it's the the lessons that they've all had have been consistent, and very, very powerful. It's been amazing.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 46:43
That's so cool. Oh, you guys should listen to it. I'll be on the few weeks. So it was so good. And then there was another thing you wanted to talk about with a business partner.
Unknown Speaker 46:51
April Seifert 46:52
So what we've noticed, and in working with women, through women inspired and just being in the field of psychology for a while there are, you know, there's obviously diagnoses and psychology that would require going to therapy, and I'm a huge proponent of therapy, have done it a couple of times myself, it's amazing. Go go go if you need to. But if you think about physical health, we know what we're supposed to do for preventive care, right? sleep, eat well drink water exercise. I mean, we have our handful of things that we should be doing. We don't get told the same things about mental health yet. Let's be honest with ourselves, you don't have to be honest with me, be honest with yourself in the past week, I want you to give a little Honk your horn if you're in your car, or raise your hand or just acknowledge it to yourself, have you experienced anxiety in the last week? Everybody better be nodding, right? We all have, have you experienced bouts of just low mood and depression that have impacted you wanting to do things that day? Everybody has those experiences. Everybody has experiences with self limiting beliefs. Everybody has those psychological barriers? Yeah. What do we do if you're not at a clinical level? What do you do? So we have a partner of mine from graduate school. She's a licensed clinical clinical psychologist, she and I are partnering to form something called peak mind the Center for psychological strength. So if you go to peak minds, psychology calm, you'll see all of that work starting to form there. And what we're trying to do is take the best of the best from the fields of cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, positive psychology, all of these places that have incredibly powerful tools and techniques, and give them to people outside of a therapy setting. So this is not therapy, this is not a substitute for it. But these are tools and techniques that will make you what we're calling more psychologically strong, more able to handle the ups and downs of life. And just better able to thrive in your day to day, you know, day to day life. And that's more of the direction that the field of psychology is trying to go. So we're really excited about it, we're working on a number of things, both some online learning, there's some, I don't even know if I should say this man may get in trouble on this. We're going to have a membership coming up, where we'll be able to give these tools, tangible things like things you can actually do similar to this 90 day challenge of taking gorgeous photos, stuff like that, that will fundamentally change the way your brain works. We'll be giving this to people on a on a regular basis. So we have a shell of a website, you all know what that's like, you start a website, you're like, I don't know, put my picture of they're just, there's so much more to come. So if you're interested in that, head over to peak mind, psychology calm, and you can sign up there to just get info on all the stuff that we have coming out. We'll definitely be doing some promotional codes and that type of thing for the first people who sign up. So we'd love to have you over there as well.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 49:57
That's so cool. I think what you're doing is going help so many people, and I'm so excited that you came on today because I think this is such a different thing I haven't talked about and I think it's so interesting. Yeah, what you do data science and customer behavior. And all that stuff is so fascinating to me. And I'm like I just want to become an expert at it. So thank you so much for being here. How do we find you on social media?
April Seifert 50:17
On social Hangout, an Instagram most of the time I'm at April Seifert. That's April like the month SPI FERT, you can also search for women inspired on iTunes and that'll link you to a bunch of places but that will link you back to my website, which is also April cipher calm. That's kind
Unknown Speaker 50:36
of a hub, you can get to all the things. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on, and we'll talk to you guys. Sweet. Awesome. Bye.
Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 50:45
Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nicole I had less for use of the song in the intro Outro. Thanks so much again and I'll see you next time.