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Author: Zev Gotkin

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Zev Audio Zone is a Podcast about entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, and self-optimization. Tune in every week to hear from inspiring individuals who are making an impact on our world.
33 Episodes
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Angeli Fitch, is a professional voice actor who specializes in narration for eLearning. Angeli Fitch has lent her voice acting skills to major corporate clients, including Walmart, Salesforce, Microsoft, Dell Computer, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, LexisNexis, and many more. Her voice is often used in corporate training modules, instructional videos, online classes, and workplace safety videos. A criminal defense attorney,  Angeli Fitch closed her busy San Francisco Bay Area law firm to pursue voice acting full time and launched her own successful voice over business. You’ll notice right away that her silky smooth voice could easily be the one telling you to mind the gap or reminding passengers not to forget their belongings, which is perfect for narrating a virtual class or online course.  Learn more about Angeli Fitch and her voice acting services: https://www.fitchvoiceover.com/
Have you ever dreamed of creating your own online course? Perhaps, you gave it a shot and it wasn't the success you hoped it would be.  Many people realize that having an online course can be an excellent lead magnet or a passive revenue stream. What they don't always seem to understand is that the course has to actually be good and provide value. Your course has to actually deliver on the promises you make.  My guest, Samantha Groff, is an instructional designer focused on helping individuals create and launch successful online courses. Her company, Omnibiz Course Creation, works with you to transform your knowledge and subject matter into engaging online courses. Whether you want to start creating courses in anything from parenting, sales, marketing strategy, hedgehog rearing, cooking, to literally anything at all, this is one episode you do not want to miss.  Learn more about OmniBiz Course Creation: https://omnibizservices.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthagroff/  
Dr. Sue Raftery is the CEO of TechEDGE, a startup focused on the sector of agriculture technology, also known as agtech. A farmer’s daughter with a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University College of Agriculture, Sue drew on her years of experience in continuing education, founding three online universities, and in workforce development to launch TechEDGE, an agtech eLearning startup bringing agriculture education into the 21st century.  There are many reasons why the agricultural sector is, in a surprising twist of irony, on the rise in the year 2020. With widespread job displacement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid adoption of remote work, and frustration with life in lockdown, cities have begun to lose a lot of their appeal. Some city dwellers have started to seriously consider country living as a quieter, less stressful, and cost-effective alternative.  While America started out as an agrarian nation, the Industrial Revolution led to the well-known rural flight from farms to cities and more densely populated areas. Now, with WiFi making it possible to work from anywhere as well as the catastrophic loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past two decades due to outsourcing overseas, more and more Americans are returning to their agrarian roots.  In recent years, there has been tremendous growth in agricultural technology. The American farmer will need a new set of skills in order to compete and farms will need to adapt. While the question of whether or not technological innovation and automation will replace the need for human workers remains debated, Dr. Sue Raftery is optimistic, and with good reason. The explosive growth of agtech has caused a vacuum in the workforce, necessitating more people with the knowledge and skills required to master and harness this new technology.  To cater to this new demand and train a new generation of farmers and horticulturalists, Sue launched TechEDGE, which provides over 1100 online and offline micro-courses in agriculture and horticulture as well as other vocations, teaching students cutting edge methods and technologies.  Learn more about AgTechEDGE: https://techedgeweb.net/agtechedge
Nathan Boeker is an educator and the founder of BookStudio, a digital textbook solution that gives educators the power to make their knowledge and classes available to a wider audience and enables them to monetize in the process.  Learn more about BookStudio: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mybookstudio/ https://bookstudio.app/courses/sample
Michael Golembiewski is an elearning project manager and the founder of Module LLC, a virtual employee training software solution based in Nashville, Tennessee. Onboarding and training a new hire can be tiresome and difficult. Module is able to convert information provided by subject matter experts in your organization into user-friendly videos, animations, and text which can be used to train new employees. Module can also provide assistance with helping companies get the full value out of the Learning Management System they currently use or build a custom-made LMS for your organization from scratch. In this interview, we discuss how his program works and how companies can successfully train employees remotely.  Learn more about Module here: https://www.modulellc.com/
Zachary Silverzweig is a tech entrepreneur and the founder of TinyIvy, a software application and phonics-based system that teaches kids to read with way less effort in way less time and at very early ages. TinyIvy has exercises and games, which keep kids having fun as they decode their way to reading proficiency. As Silverzweig describes, TinyIvy uses an innovative approach called Tips that borrows from other languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, and utilizes methods traditionally used for teaching those other languages, to teach kids and adults how to read in English quickly and easily.  Learn more about how TinyIvy works here: https://tinyivy.com/what-is-tips/
@DavidYarus is the 33-year-old founder of JSwipe, a popular Jewish dating app that was acquired by Spark Networks in October 2015 for $10 million. He is also the founder of Mllnnl, a fast-growing digital marketing agency based in New York City. This is definitely one episode that's going to make you want to swipe right! 🙂 Follow him on Instagram: @DavidYarus
Barry Kayton is the founder and CEO of successful San Francisco-based startup, Cognician, a change management platform, and digital coaching solution that creatively uses cognitive-behavioral methods to achieve behavioral changes at scale.  Utilized by many Fortune 500 companies to help executives learn new skills and shift their patterns of thoughts and behavior, Cognician is a change management platform that provides user-friendly, bite-sized, and customized learning activities, digital coaching, quests, gamified learning modules, assessments, and more. Cognician's digital coaching programs are designed to build capability from within. Through self-directed learning, users develop a reflective mindset that facilitates new ways of thinking and working. Taking the reflective questioning approach of a coach and combining it with an online platform that supports self-directed and personalized learning, Cognician provides a recipe for creating sustainable change at scale. Cognician’s programs use coaching guides (which they call ‘Cogs’) to guide learners with powerful mental models that steer their thoughts and actions, using their cognitive-behavioral approach to teach everything from speech and persuasion skills to cybersecurity. Cognician aims to support the development of new habits by helping learners to follow through over time on their commitment to change. Cognician utilizes a cutting-edge teaching method that engages learners by asking the students questions that guide students to drawing proper conclusions using their own critical thinking. Learn more: https://www.cognician.com/
My guest, Kasey Riley is the CMO of The Fat Plant Society, a company based in Kansas City, Kansas, which specializes in installing moss walls, moss frames for interior spaces, and succulent installations for exterior spaces. Their real, preserved moss does not require dirt, watering, or misting. Moss design installations are a cost-effective means of bringing greenery into workplaces, public spaces, restaurants, hotels, and residential spaces. Learn more: https://www.thefatplantsociety.com/ Instagram: @thefatplantsociety Kasey's blog: https://medium.com/@KaseyLaineRiley During COVID-19, we've seen a rise in people adopting indoor hobbies to stave off boredom and cope with Cabin Fever. One of these trends has been people adopting plants and documenting the care of these plants on Instagram. Turns out, there are some real proven benefits in terms of health, mood, and well-being to having greenery in your space, as Kasey explains in this interview.
We're at a critical juncture right now. The economy isn't what it used to be, people have lost their jobs, and more Americans are now being forced to explore alternative ways to earn an income. Mark Schnurman is a professional Franchise Coach who helps people at career crossroads explore the viability of business ownership as an alternative or added route to their current career. As a Franchise Consultant, Mark provides complimentary coaching services to prospective franchise owners. He is paid by the franchisor community to assist people in exploring franchising. There are thousands of franchise options and without expert guidance, it is difficult to choose the right one for you. To learn more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markschnurman/ https://www.thefranchiseconsultingcompany.com/
Jason Dumois is the founder and CEO of HyperCarrot®, an HR tech startup based in Washington DC. According to the State of the American Workplace Report Gallup poll, 79% of employees leave their jobs because they don't feel appreciated for the work they do. Built around the power of "Thank you," HyperCarrot combines the power of data, gaming, and recognition to ignite the employee experience, increase employee engagement, and drive performance metrics and KPIs. Dumois is a serial tech entrepreneur, remote work expert, and startup advisor who has spent over a decade in the eLearning and technology space. Learn more: https://www.hypercarrot.com/
Troy Osinoff is the co-founder of one of NYC’s fastest-growing  B2C marketing agencies, JUICE. His agency has been behind the success of social media marketing, ecommerce, and digital advertising campaigns for big brands, such as BuzzFeed, Kenneth Cole, Illesteva, Paleo Bakeshop, Paris Hilton, and more.   Something of an entrepreneurial prodigy, Troy coded his first website at the tender age of 10 years-old. Long before the advent of social media, way before memes were a thing, and before YouTube existed, Troy created wildly popular funny picture and video websites, such as Banthis.com and MyBadParent.com. Troy is a published author and his websites have been featured in media outlets such as The Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, and Comedy Central. He has also appeared as a guest on radio and television shows around the world, including Dr. Phil. And, his writing has appeared in prestigious publications, such as AdAge.  On today's episode, Troy catches us up on the relevant social media trends in 2020 and focuses particular attention on a rapidly emerging platform known as TikTok. TikTok is a relatively new kid on the social media block, and many are wondering how they can utilize TiKTok to grow their businesses. During this interview, Troy shares excellent tips for how your brand can tell its story and connect with audiences on TikTok. 
Sadly, violence in the workplace and mass shootings have become all-too-common facets of American life. With every headline, we worry more and more about our future and how we can prevent these terrible tragedies from occurring.  My guest, Phillip Rizzo, is a High-Risk Security Consultant, Criminal Justice Instructor & Reform Advocate, and a Distance Learning Content Creator based in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the CEO of RPG Consulting, an online and offline security training company, which specializes in training employees in things like active shooter risk mitigation, de-escalation of aggression, tactical termination for the HR process, security guard training, unconscious bias training, and house of worship security preparedness.  Coming from a security background and having served as a security guard himself, Phillip saw the need for a better solution to ensure the safety of all. His company's training modules and classes can help anyone in a school, office, store, or house of worship recognize potential threats, de-escalate conflicts, and prepare in the event of an unfortunate security situation. While this episode is a bit different from our usual subject matter, I think this topic is very relevant for the times we live in. You can learn more about RPG Consulting and its online security training by visiting the link in the show notes.  Learn more about RPG Consulting here: https://www.rpgconsultingltd.com/about
Robert Joseph is the President of Team MindShift, an innovative training and technology solutions company preparing employees for the fast-paced digital world, offering courses in a variety of areas, such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and blockchain. He is also a data scientist and a university professor who holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon and two Masters Degrees, one from Carnegie Mellon and another from MIT. In this episode, Robert provides us with an idea of what to expect in a world after COVID-19 and shares with us how his startup is empowering people to take ownership of their professional learning and growth. Learn more about Team MindShift here: https://teammindshift.com/
Have you ever wanted to learn from a robot? Did you ever consider what it might be like to learn from a robot tutor? 🤖 As many college and graduate students doing distance learning during COVID-19 can tell you, tutor bots are a real thing.  My guest, Emiliano De Laurentiis, is the founder of a VR, AI edtech platform called Knowledge Avatars. Users can ask a human-looking, cartoonlike character -- a bot -- questions about the material and receive answers in realtime from the bot as if they are having a face-to-face conversation with a real-life tutor.  The Knowledge Avatars platform allows experts and teachers to feed the bots knowledge. No programming knowledge is necessary as the platform makes it easy for educators to simply upload their existing video lectures or content into the bot with the push of a button. As time goes on, the bot becomes smarter and learns how to best interact with the student. Knowledge Avatars also has a revenue-sharing feature that enables educators to monetize their bots and make them widely available to other users on the platform besides their own students.  To learn more: https://knowledgeavatars.com/
My guest, Joel Klettke is a full-time freelance conversion-focused copywriter and marketing strategist who’s worked with big-name clients, such as HubSpot, WP Engine, Safelite, and Ion Interactive.  Now, I think it’s necessary to first provide a little background information to my listeners so that we don’t get lost in buzz-words or fancy business jargon. When I say Joel is a copywriter, I want you to understand exactly what that means. No, that doesn’t mean he’s a lawyer. Copywriting has nothing to do with law. For those who don’t know, a copywriter is someone who writes the text for advertisements and other marketing content such as a corporate About Us on a company website, product descriptions, the captions for social media posts, slogans, flyers, banner ads, brochures, newsletters, and more. While design attracts, the copy is what usually creates the emotional connection and ultimately convinces a person to take a desired action such as hitting the like or subscribe button, opening the email, filling out the lead contact form, or placing the order. Joel Klettke’s writing helps businesses get more clicks, traffic, adds to cart, and sales.  I myself have a copywriting background and started out as a copywriter before expanding into other areas of marketing such as social media management and brand strategy consulting. If you’ve ever watched the popular TV series, Mad Men, then you’re familiar with the show’s protagonist, a whiskey-drinking, womanizing Madison Avenue agency copywriter named Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm. I can assure you the real life of most of today’s copywriters is not nearly as exciting and hopefully far less dysfunctional than that of Don Draper.  This interview turned into a really interesting discussion between two marketers. In this interview, Joel Klettke spills the tea on freelancing, copywriting, and how his work helps his clients and their businesses succeed. Click the links below learn more about Joel Klettke and his work: https://joelklettke.com/ https://businesscasualcopywriting.com/ Twitter: @JoelKlettke (over 11,700 followers at the time of this recording)
My guest, David Businelli, is an architect and the CEO of Studio 16, an award-winning architecture firm based in Staten Island, NY.  In this episode, we discuss designing spaces with the user in mind, architecture, client service, and managing your own firm. Learn more here: https://s16a.com/
Rabbi Daniel Bortz is a community leader, life coach, and social media influencer who creates spiritual and meditative content and experiences for a new generation. Hailing from San Diego, Rabbi Dan Bortz is best known as the Millennial Rabbi on Instagram @milliennialrabbi where he has over 25,000 followers.  Not your typical rabbi, Dan Bortz can be found dancing every year at Coachella, schmoozing with teens and young adults about life, or hosting experiential events featuring guided sound meditations. It’s not uncommon during one of his classes (where no questions are off-limits) for him to cite a verse from the bible or quote a famous rabbi and rapper and quote a lyric from Tupac Shakur. Rabbi Dan Bortz is the founder of Soul X through which he runs programming for JTeens and Soul Living, an immersive 6-week course focused on self-optimization. Soul X offers online and offline classes, coaching calls, courses, retreats, and events that help people conquer anxiety, access happiness, and attain higher levels of consciousness in a happy and non-judgemental way. Rabbi Bortz is also the author of Beneath the Surface (edited by yours truly), and produces many bite-sized nuggets of inspiration through video-shorts on his YouTube Channel.  In this episode, we talked about social media marketing strategy, the impact of mobile usage and social media on young people, healthy technology usage, maintaining a balance between staying connected and taking time for one’s self, and tackling difficult subjects in our sensitive and polarized political climate. We closed the episode with a brief mindfulness exercise. 
Zach Cutler is the 33-year-old founder of Propel CRM, a SaaS product that is reimagining and disrupting the Public Relations and forcing the entire industry to become more efficient, data-driven, and accountable. To learn more, visit: https://www.propelmypr.com/ You can’t buy happiness, but you CAN buy good press. And, public relations, more commonly referred to as PR, is a multi-billion dollar industry where agencies charge companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly retainers to ensure they get their clients positive media attention. To get your company mentioned in an article by the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, featured in a popular magazine or trade journal, or endorsed by a YouTube star or Instagram influencer requires a not only a great deal of money, but time -- thousands of hours are spent pitching reporters at various outlets in the hopes of landing a good placement that is valuable to you or your client. The problem is the way PR is done has not changed much, even with the advent of the digital age. The outreach and follow-up process is stressful, arduous, and time-consuming. On top of all that, a common charge against PR from the rest of the business world is that it’s expensive and lacking in transparency and accountability. Proving PR results in an objective way is hard. It can be exceedingly difficult to pinpoint what’s working, what’s not, and why, which makes it difficult for companies to optimize or improve their strategy.  My guest, Zach Cutler, came out of the PR industry where he worked for over a decade, eager to develop a technology solution that would make PR smarter, more efficient, ROI-driven, and more accountable to data-based metrics. Almost immediately after exiting his successful tech-focused PR agency, Cutler PR, a company he started right out of college, Zach launched Propel CRM. More than simply a standard client relationship management software or dashboard, Propel uses AI and machine learning to help PR teams and companies of all sizes find and pitch stories to reporters in an organized, trackable way so that the results are easy to measure and quantify. Propel CRM is literally changing the way companies do PR, simplifying the outreach process, and making it more efficient and data-driven. 
My guest today is Evan Rabin, entrepreneur and founder of the NYC-based Premier Chess, a company that teaches students of all ages and levels business and life lessons through the game of Chess in corporate classes, school programs, private lessons and more. Their motto is: “Conquer the game, master your life.” To date, Premier Chess has partnered with over 70 schools, companies, camps, and other organizations in and around NYC. While they have dozens of chapters at schools throughout the 5 boroughs, they have expanded to the Greater NYC area, including Rockland County, NJ, and even as far as Arizona.  A US Chess National Master, Evan Rabin spent years in Corporate America working in sales before he decided to marry his personal passion with his professional skill-set. Now, he gets to run a business around his hobby, and do a lot of good and make a difference in the process. You can learn more about Evan Rabin and Premier Chess by visiting the links below. In this interview,  Evan shares some great tips for entrepreneurs or anyone who wants to turn their favorite activity into a career or full-time business. https://premierchess.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/evanrabin/
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