Welcome, is this your first visit to The Hopkinson Report? START HERE Weclome Arrow


Try a new way to connect with your followers

– Download podcast: Via iTunes | Save to computer (Right click, Save As)
– Play it below:

Are you listening?

One of the mantras you hear over and over again when building a business is listening to your customers and getting their feedback. That’s also true of the online world. There are multiple ways to do that:

Comments: Nearly every blog has the ability to accept comments, but this can be a good and bad thing. On the positive side, if you can build a thriving, engaged community, you’ll gain tremendous advantage by connecting with your readers and opening up a two-way conversation. Readers will give you valuable feedback, story ideas, and even react with other readers.

However, the two major downsides can make you want to not even deal with it (as I have). First are spam comments and security concerns. For those of you without a blog, know that the onslaught of spam comments is relentless. WordPress has done a good job at filtering out most of them with the Akismet plugin, but for awhile it was really bad. The second is negative comments and trolls. Spend some time on the internet and you’ll quickly find that not everyone jumps into the comments section to be helpful.

Email: Create an email address for your blog and let people write into your 1:1 with their comments and suggestions. Of course, you start to run into problems of scale and answering everything as your audience grows, but that’s a good sign. You can reach me at jim [at] The Hopkinson Report.com

Social Media: Another great place to connect is via social media. Setting up a Facebook page for your brand or having a Twitter account lets you interact online, share links and photos, and build a community. You can reach me on Twitter @HopkinsonReport.

New: Using audio feedback with Speakpipe

Today I’m going to tell you about Speakpipe, a new way to get feedback from your readers and listeners via audio.

I don’t have any vested interest in them, and I thought it was interesting how they came on my radar:

– I received a random email from Vladimir Pankratiev, asking me why I didn’t accept voicemails from my podcast listeners, and that other podcasters were doing so

– I thought about it a bit and said, hmm, maybe that WOULD be a good idea

– The next day I was on a run and listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Smart Passive Income, and Pat Flynn was taking voicemail questions using a program called Speakpipe. I made a mental note to check it out.

– I checked out the site and the pricing plans, and it looked really interesting

– I did some Google research and came across a story by the Podcast Answer Man, who I have worked with before, and saw the name Vladimir

– When I went back to my email, I looked a little closer, and of course, saw that Vladimir was the founder and creator of Speakpipe. Now it all made sense.

– We exchanged several emails after that, and he told me a lot more about the product and other examples of people using it.

4 reasons to try Speakpipe

Here are four reasons you might want to give this a shot
1) Installation takes 5 minutes. I am not exaggerating here. I went to their setup page, followed the instructions for WordPress plugin, and I honestly was up and running in less than 5 minutes.

2) Clean, customizable design. It appears on your website, big enough to be seen, but not obnoxious enough to get in the way.

3) It does what it is supposed to do. Nothing irks me more than seeing a new product and needing to “figure it out,” like some kind of new wave social sharing integration platform with synergy across multiple gluten-free operating systems. Speakpipe is singularly focused and you instantly understand what it is and what it is not. It just works.

4) It’s free to try. The upgrade path makes it a no-lose situation for bloggers. It’s free for up to 20 messages a month. If you try it and get no response, you don’t pay a dime and just deactivate the plugin. Or if you get 5-10 people a month, you’re golden. If the response takes off and you start getting 100 or more messages a month, you simply scale up to the plan that works best for you. Just $5/month for 150 messages, $12 for 400, and $39 for 1500, with additional features included as you move up the ladder.


Screenshots of Speakpipe in action

WordPress installation:

Listening back to your recording:

Your admin panel:

YOUR TURN: Give me your feedback

I would love to hear more from you guys, my listeners.

Step 1: Since you’re already on TheHopkinsonReport.com, look to the right and you’ll see the Speakpipe widget that says “Send Voicemail” –>>>.

Step 2: Leave me a quick voicemail. Here are some ideas:
– What do you think of Speakpipe?
– What new blog/podcast topics would you like me to cover?
– Which topics that I routinely cover would you like to hear more of?
– What are things I can improve upon?

If you leave a great comment or question, I can even take the audio file and play it in the podcast (I’ll get your permission first).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Check out my free online salary negotiation course, “How to Negotiate Salary: The Negotiation Mindset.”

Sponsor Message: Freshbooks Fresh Take of the Week: Connecting

Today’s topic is connecting with your blog readers or podcast followers. Doing so builds trust, builds your business, and builds your following. The same thing happens with Freshbooks. Using their online service to do your accounting and billing builds trust with your clients and makes for a smooth transition during the billing process.

Switch to cloud accounting and join over 5 million people using FreshBooks to make billing painless at Freshbooks.com.

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.