046 - How NLP Improves Your Communication and Marketing - Corina Frankie

NLP skills enhance your communication, performance, and relationships. How can we apply these principles to designing voice applications and marketing?

#Voicefirst terminology note: when we say “NLP skills” in this episode, we are not referring to natural language processing or Alexa skills, unless specified.

Corina and Emily discuss Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in relation to two applications:

  1. From an introspective or self improvement lens, NLP can help you update the operating system of the mind to be more effective in communicating especially in business and sales.

  2. From a marketing and voice technology perspective, a deep dive into language processing is paramount to build effective voice experiences for consumers. As we design more experiences based on voice with assistants like Alexa, Google, Siri, and Bixby, marketers and designers have to harness the power of language more effectively than ever.

Corina Frankie, CEO & Founder of Brand Besties and Certified NLP Coach

Corina Frankie, CEO & Founder of Brand Besties and Certified NLP Coach

Show notes and timestamps:

  • 02:25 “NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is collection of practical techniques, skills, and strategies that lead to excellence.” -Corina

  • NLP helps businesses align their values and organization to build rapport with clients and staff and better understand needs and motivations of their customers

  • 03:45 Effective questions lead someone to the answer they may already have

  • 04:10 Language matters - how we communicate and interact with ourselves and others

  • 04:30 NLP helps us understand how the brain works: how do we process information on the inside that comes to us from outside events or experiences? The internal representations we make about an outside event are not the event itself.

  • 05:00 What does it mean if your boss gives you more work than your coworkers? The internal representation (processing) is not necessarily the reality of the event.

  • 06:00 How do we create the thinking we have? Where are customers, clients, and staff coming from in specific situations?

  • 06:20 How do we get someone to want to buy something?

Corina Frankie is a speaker and coach based in Austin, Texas. She specializes in NLP training.

Corina Frankie is a speaker and coach based in Austin, Texas. She specializes in NLP training.

  • 06:40 Everyone has a pain or need. A business tries to solve it. But everyone sees their pain differently.

  • 07:00 Car buying example: do you see, hear, or learn about the car by grasping it?

  • 07:20 Visual, auditory, or kinesthetic apply to a buying decision - are you applying these across messaging to align with your customer?

  • 08:00 Mismatch of enthusiasm and energy (current model of someone’s world) is jarring and can ruin a sale or negotiation

  • 08:40 We are hardwired to mirror each other - this helps

  • 10:00 With Alexa skills or Google actions and other voice apps brands need a consistent, holistic sonic identity to match the rest of their positioning

  • 11:00 NLP 4-Mat System:

    The basic premise of the 4-Mat system is that we all have different learning styles. Some people are motivated by Why? questions. They want to know why they are listening to this talk. Others by What? questions; they want information…and probably lots of it! The How? people want to get on and do an exercise, get their hands on it and try it. Then there are the What if? people who want to know how this material applies to their life, workplace or environment.

  • 12:10 The Charisma Pattern plays on kinesthetic, visual, and auditory pattern) - with a voice skill, how do you create a feeling or experience with the way you speak?

  • 13:20 Corina demonstrates slowing down and dropping her voice- like the recommendation for the late night FM radio DJ voice from Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss (highly recommend this book! Click here to order on Amazon.)

  • 14:02 People will tell you their primary representational system if you just listen to their language - pay attention to predicates and verbs people use

  • 14:45-16:04 Corina asks clients their vision for an experience she will create with Brand Besties - she listens for their predicates to find out if they are visual or kinesthetic so she can close the sale by speaking their language, e.g. “Picture this…” vs “How does this feel?…”

  • 16:20 Feeling predicates sheet (PDF)


Connect with Corina Frankie:


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045 - Hearables and the Future of Audible Social Media - Dave Kemp

Dave Kemp from Oaktree Products is an expert on hearables, which are smart, wireless in-ear devices such as AirPods. And they’re probably the future of voice, more so than smart speakers.

Dave and Emily talked about ambient computing from Alexa to wearables to the connected car. And interestingly we touched on the dire need for curated content to replace the noisy and overwhelming experience of social media today. Plus, hear how Alexa Flash Briefing might be the first iteration of that improved content experience.

AirPods  are  Apple's  most popular accessory product, with 35 million units sold in 2018 alone.

AirPods are Apple's most popular accessory product, with 35 million units sold in 2018 alone.

Topics and timestamps:

  • Hearables including AirPods and competitor products such as Samsung Galaxy Buds, Pixel Buds, Microsoft Surface headset

  • 5:10 Amazon hearables in late half of 2019 (competitor to AirPods)

  • Apple's new H1 chip in v2 AirPods shows that Apple is dedicated to AirPods for the long term (beyond using the W1 chip from Apple Watch), now AirPods have their own chip architecture just for hearables

  • First application is "Hey Siri" activation (no tapping required)

  • 7:10 Bret Kinsella helped people visualize importance of the smart speaker as training wheels, a conditional device to make people comfortable with the voice assistant, offloading smartphone related tasks to VAs. But hearables are really riding the bike.

  • The near-field voice assistant is key (smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home and Apple HomePod are far field)

  • 9:00 We have to recognize there has been a dramatic behavioral shift since 2016

  • It has becomes socially acceptable to wear in-ear devices all the time

  • 9:20 Form factors are developing: earrings (fashionable hearables) and Bose AR frames with speakers near the ear could be the future

  • 9:40 Hearing aids as a form factor allow for usage that is super discreet - moving away from stigma today and to all-day usage

  • Passively consuming content while synced to digital environment - all day usage is plausible

  • 10:30 Emily's Bluetooth headache - how can we minimize exposure to EMFs from a health standpoint?

  • 11:00 AirPods case could become the receiver vs streaming content from phone to AirPods. Content could be housed in the AirPod case and streamed in a lower bandwidth from the edge vs the cloud.

  • 11:20 Outfitting our bodies with technology - what are the health implications for heavy EMFs (Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation) - hear a quick Flash Briefing about why EMFs are a problem - TBD…

  • 12:25 Flash Briefing and passive consumption of content

  • Flash Briefing is a gem

  • Dave’s Flash Briefing (Future Ear Radio) is his daily blog post on futurear.co then the briefing is a 60 second tease about the blog post (a promotional vehicle to his blog post)

  • Flash Briefing should be the star of the smart speaker - such a powerful use case

  • 14:00 This is the precursor to audio social media, consuming on demand the content you want to consume from your favorite sources (curated feed)

  • Amazon should be featuring Flash Briefing more but now it's relegated to the Settings area of the Alexa app

  • How can we put the Flash Briefing idea on other platforms?

  • 15:15 We are so overwhelmed with social media- what if you could Google Reader / RSS all that content?

  • Ways to better curate your attention and cut out the noise

  • We love Twitter but it requires so much parsing - what does the future hold and how can voicefirst make passive content consumption better?

Get in touch with Dave Kemp:


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044 - Paying Voice Talent, Junk Alexa Skills, and Business Integrity - Melanie Scroggins

I spoke with Austin-based professional voice actor Melanie Scroggins, Owner of Melanie Scroggins Voiceover. Melanie found me based on my tweets about junk skills (Alexa skills with no content that are squatting on search terms).

Her story resonated with me because it opens the door to a larger conversation about how we value and pay talent.

For voice actors who are providing the important sonic branding that we in the voice community are effusive about, communities like SpokenLayer are underpaying freelancers to a surprising degree.

And somehow, no one is talking about it.

This hopefully serves as a conversation starter. Let’s openly discuss these things so we can create a better place for everyone, from users and customers to developers, brands, voice actors, and content creators.

We mentioned:
Here is the rate guide for GVAA (Global Voice Academy)

While this is a standard rate sheet a lot of voice actors use to rate out projects, there
actually is no end all be all. It's really up to the individual actor, but
this provides a solid foundation on which to start charging.

Connect with Melanie Scroggins:



043 - Mics and Podcasting - Ben Thompkins, Blue Microphones

Guest: Ben Thompkins, National Sales Manager- Pro Sales, Blue Microphones

Ben Thompkins, Blue Microphones

Ben Thompkins, Blue Microphones


  • Ben runs professional sales for Blue in North and South America, has been with Blue ten years

  • He handles B2B business, distribution, and educational sales

  • How does Blue differentiate in the microphone industry?

  • Blue’s unique history (very music focused, podcasting has been recent)

  • Started as a high end microphone company (many of their mics are still $6,000-$10,000)

  • Took premium sound and made it affordable (see their podcasting mics)

  • Blue’s marketing stands out - fun names like Yeti and Snowball <— please use my link if you want to buy a snowball, this helps support the show!

  • 4:34 Story: Snowball was originally called Softball - founder story

  • Softball (Snowball) was built for GarageBand, per Apple’s request- a simple USB mic

  • Founder Skipper turned them down

  • Emily used Snowball on her first podcast (throwback: The Digital Dive Podcast)

  • Hear about podfading (half of podcasts fade after 6 episodes) in Emily’s episode with Phoebe Mroczek

  • 8:10 Emily asks: are people ready for a more passive media experience (e.g. podcasting and voice - audio content) due to social media overload?

  • "Half the picture is sound" - George Lucas on the importance of audio in film

  • High quality audio is paramount for communication and marketing

  • Bad audio on YouTube is worse than bad visuals

  • Blue was acquired by Logitech for $117 million

  • Ben is seeing a trend of XLR mics, not just USB mics (XLR is used at major music recording studios)

  • If you’re paying for an expensive computer and Alienware, it makes sense to upgrade your audio too

  • Video games are part of his market - gamers are buying nicer mics

  • Joe Rogan uses a broadcast mic

  • People are spending more money on higher quality mics

  • Ben is seeing a consumer purchasing trend with XLR mics, not just USB mics (XLR is used at major music recording studios)

  • If you’re paying for an expensive computer and Alienware, it makes sense to upgrade your audio too (gaming)

  • Video games are part of his market - gamers are buying nicer mics and willing to pay

  • Example- Joe Rogan uses a broadcast mic

Gavin Rossdale, Bush (Emily met Ben backstage at Bush at Stubb’s BBQ)

Gavin Rossdale, Bush (Emily met Ben backstage at Bush at Stubb’s BBQ)

042 - Wendi Cooper: How Marketing is Failing the Modern Mature Consumer

Harleys and Jets vs. Bingo and Go Fish

wendi 42 cover beetle podcast cover art template.png

Show notes:

Copy of Wendi Cooper SHOW 500_500 Pandora l.png
  • The 85+ age group is the fastest growing. There are more people 65+ than under age five. This is a huge missed opportunity for brands not talking to the 50+ cohort.

  • 60 million U.S. adults are between age 50-70: lots of spending power

  • Peter Pan syndrome in advertising world

  • Wendi has been in DRTV since 1997 - and it's a lot of selling to women

  • 07:23 We are not data driven only because of the digital age, DR has been data driven since long before there was digital

  • 07:30 It has always been women purchasing on TV and in retail so why aren’t we honing in and speaking to them more?

  • Marketers are not reaching mature consumers effectively mainly because ad agencies skew so young

  • 9:30 Too many marketers assume people watching CNN are on their way to assisted living

  • 9:50 Programmatic - ad fraud - billions wasted per year

  • 9:55 Voice is the future - voice is natural for all age

  • 10:25 What should marketers do to reach the 50-70 group with voice?

  • 10:55 "I've fallen and I can't get up" - famous ad was original voice technology - necklace to send help

  • 11:53 As people become elders they need voice to contact loved ones and order prescriptions

  • 12:10 Bezos - Amazon pharmacy play - smart

  • 12:20 Voice for assisted living - ideas where older people will understand and use the technology

  • 12:50 Voice is even more intuitive than an iPad, but who is the teacher? This matters.

  • 13:15 50-70 year old market who are thriving - Flash Briefings for this group would be great (Wendi will create one)

  • 13:55 How do you market your Flash Briefing? The challenge here is widespread for all ages.

  • 14:50 As soon as you are able to create content you can drive people to a destination (e.g. Wendi put the first URL instead of an 800 number in a commercial)

  • 15:15 A TV commercial to drive awareness of the 60+ Alexa skill would work - Wendi feels this is necessary to bring mass awareness to voice

  • 16:00 Super Bowl ads about Alexa

  • 16:10 "Go get the Alexa skill" is the new download the app or visit the website

Ad agency ageism stats via Ad Age:

  • In 2017, the majority, or 63 percent, of workers in advertising, public relations and related services were under 45 years of age, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • The median age in the category was 39.2—roughly the same as a decade earlier. (By comparison, the median age in accounting, including tax prep, bookkeeping and payroll services, was 45.)

  • Broadly speaking, age bias accounts for nearly a quarter of overall complaints against employers.

Here are some great Alexa skills for seniors from Heidi Culbertson's company Ask Marvee:


Get in touch with Wendi Cooper, C Spot Talk:

wendicooper.com - Speaking of Age


LinkedIn - Wendi Cooper: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendicoopercspottalk/

YouTube: Wendi Cooper: https://www.youtube.com/user/cspotrundirect

041 - Don't Podfade - Phoebe Mroczek: How You Do One Thing is How You Do Everything

Guest Phoebe Mroczek of Unbecoming Podcast and New To Podcast

Topics: Podcasting, the business of podcasting, entrepreneurs, consulting, brain picking (ugh), commitment, intimacy through audio content

Phoebe Mroczek hosts Unbecoming Podcast and New To Podcast (a show about moving to Austin)

Phoebe Mroczek hosts Unbecoming Podcast and New To Podcast (a show about moving to Austin)

Phoebe Mroczek:


Phoebe Mroczek is a podcaster and marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs create a profitable business that is an honest reflection of who they are and what they want most.

ABOUT Phoebe:

She is the host of Unbecoming, a podcast and nationally-syndicated radio show that helps entrepreneurs release the judgments and beliefs holding them back from living a more meaningful life. Her show reaches 350,000+ listeners per month from 40+ countries, 16 AM/FM stations in 20 cities nationwide and across 20 Internet platforms.

She built and ran a six-figure online marketing business for several years before realizing that her real passion was in helping entrepreneurs amplify their message and have a greater impact by being more of themselves.

Phoebe believes that while what we do in the world is important, we’re meant to do so much more in life than just work. As an curious explorer and recovering perfectionist, she’s traveled to 65 countries on 6 continents, been cage diving with great white sharks, camped in the Serengeti and motorbiked across 15 countries in Europe.

Phoebe in the news:

Woman to Watch: Phoebe Mroczek

Timestamps coming soon

040 - Pricing Strategy: How Not to Discount - Network Spinal Analysis Story

Pricing strategy is a key consideration when selling a product or service. Hear a true story about a bizarre pricing model I encountered and what marketers can learn from it.


0:50 Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) - recommended by Tony Robbins: "NSA was created by Dr. Donny Epstein in the 1980s. It's deceptively simple yet profoundly effective. NSA practitioners lightly touch certain parts of your spine to release tension. By releasing that tension, energy is freed up, which the body uses to increase flexibility in your spine and, by extension, your nervous system." Read more: Tony Robbins Says This Little-Known Therapy is One of the Most Powerful Sources of Transformation He Has Ever Experienced

"At its core, NSA is an elegant hack to help you reorganize your body and mind, making you more physically and mentally flexible and resilient. It's like a software upgrade for humans."

Sounds great, right? It didn't really work for me.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of  chiropractic  care that  focuses  on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of chiropractic care that focuses on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

1:30 Pricing model as presented to customer: 25% discount for paying month-to-month (instead of by the session), or 30% discount for paying for all six months at once

2:10 Pricing policy is a retroactive price hike if you discontinue before hitting six months

2:35 An agreement requires consideration (both parties signing a contract). It later turned out an office assistant mistakenly forgot to present me with the contract. This indicates disorganization, a separate issue.

4:52 "Be impeccable with your word" - one of The Four Agreements

5:00 Make customers feel they can trust you

5:10 Don’t forget to reduce customer anxiety at ALL points in the customer journey, not only pre-purchase but also post purchase. Retention marketing is equally important. Remember, it costs on average 10 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep a current one.

5:22 Packaging (one of the 4 Ps) - package nicely to instill post-purchase satisfaction (great brands like Apple have always understood the power of packaging). In a service oriented business, everything about the service experience is essentially packaging, from your office environment to your communication style to your emails and online scheduling tool.

5:55 Marketing doesn't end after the cash register closes

6:10 Satisfaction guarantees and pricing model must be consistent

6:40 Keep your business reputation healthy - this is a priority because local businesses live and die by reviews. Nickel and diming or displeasing customers to scrape extra money out of a transaction is just not worth it nowadays when anyone can post an online review. Plus, having to do this is a sign that your product or service is lacking. Fix that instead of toying with a tricky pricing strategy.

Click the image to  1-click subscribe  in your native podcast

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The Outcome

We parted ways amicably and I got a full refund, after 2-3 weeks of back-and-forth. This was an unnecessary waste of time. I have no ill will toward the doctor here. However I wouldn't recommend her practice with the current pricing model. Apparently many chiropractors use this six month pay-ahead discount. Please stop. Just do a good job and people will come back. You don’t have to trick them or manipulate them with complex pricing.

I made a podcast out of this not to complain or be negative, but to draw a lesson and point out the business takeaway - because that is more interesting and overall productive and positive. NSA is quite effective for some people and I wish them well.

A retroactive price hike or “pro-ration” of past sessions is a horrible model that takes advantage of customers and makes you seem like a no-money-down/payday loan quack.

039 - Katherine Prescott: Alexa Privacy, Echo Show 5

Katherine Prescott is the Founder and Editor of VoiceBrew, a digital media company dedicated to helping people get the most out of Alexa. We discussed privacy on Amazon Alexa as well as the future of #voicefirst advertising. Which tech company's business model has true alignment with the end user, examining Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.

Katherine Prescott is the Founder &amp; Editor of  VoiceBrew , a top resource for Alexa tips and best uses

Katherine Prescott is the Founder & Editor of VoiceBrew, a top resource for Alexa tips and best uses

Topics and timestamps:

  • Privacy - Amazon Alexa - is she recording?

  • Amazon Echo Show 5 announcement - new features, especially for greater privacy and user data control

  • When is Alexa recording vs listening?

  • How do I control my privacy settings on Alexa?

  • 3.10 This privacy dialogue is healthy - it improves voice assistants for consumers

  • Echo Show 5 has a new camera shutter and the ability to say “Alexa, delete everything I said today”

  • 4.20 Alexa app is not the focus

  • 5.00 Discoverability is the ultimate challenge

  • 5.05 It’s called the 5 but this refers to the 5.5 inch screen - is same as third gen echo

  • 5.10 Why the Echo Show 5 is such a big deal - compelling land grab for affordable smart display space

  • 6.10 Like the shift from radio to TV, third party Alexa skills will improve dramatically because of multi-modal

  • 10.04 Will smart display pave the way for advertising? Banner even? Less intrusive than voice? Alexa diplsay ads?

  • 10.50 Emily: sponsorship and brand preference will be paid for - that will be the advertising, unlike previous digital like banner ads or PPC

  • 11.30 Katherine: Tech giants are shifting toward privacy as a feature

  • 13.15 Business model and alignment - Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. Great point from Katherine.

  • 14.02 Google's pitch: we provide free services and collect your data.

  • 14.27 Think of privacy in broader context - we are in the early innings of voice 

See this post on  Instagram and follow @beetlemoment  for #voicefirst news

See this post on Instagram and follow @beetlemoment for #voicefirst news


  1. Echo Show 5: https://www.techradar.com/news/amazon-echo-show-5-everything-you-need-to-know

  2. "Buried in this morning’s Echo Show 5 announcement are a couple of new security features worth highlighting. In addition to the inclusion of a built-in camera shutter on the new smart display are a pair of Echo  commands that let users delete voice recordings with an Alexa command." -https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/29/amazon-adds-alexa-delete-what-i-said-today-command/

Enjoy this episode about #voicefirst marketing and technology? Please leave us a review! 1)  Click “Listen in Apple Podcasts”,  2) Click “Open in iTunes:, 3) Click “Ratings and reviews”. Thanks!

Enjoy this episode about #voicefirst marketing and technology? Please leave us a review! 1) Click “Listen in Apple Podcasts”, 2) Click “Open in iTunes:, 3) Click “Ratings and reviews”. Thanks!

Get in touch with Katherine Prescott:

Twitter: @kbprescott

Instagram: @voicebrew