4 Ways to Manage Negative Feedback in a Positive Way

As marketers we often face rejection and negativity. An idea is shot down. An angry reader rants in a comment. A prospect chooses a competitor’s product.

 

We can’t help but feel a bit of a sting when someone spits on our hard work. How do we stay strong and steadfast in our commitment to succeeding in our content marketing efforts? It’s not always easy.

My team and I talked to over 50 marketing influencers who set themselves up for potentially negative feedback by speaking or publishing for an audience. I compiled these four recurring tips to help us overcome unfortunate real-life and internet negativity.

1. Learn from it

The most common suggestion shared by experts was to learn from the negative feedback.

Jen Spencer, vice president of sales and marketing at Allbound, suggests first identifying whether the feedback is useful or if it’s garbage. “There are people out there who will always see the negative, and only the negative,” she says.

As a result, you can look at the feedback two ways: (1) confirmation that you do, in fact, suck or (2) an opportunity to ask yourself how you can improve.

It all comes down to your mindset. Do you accept what you’re told as is? Or do you persevere and find a way to turn that negative perspective around?

Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity Partners, says receiving negative feedback with open ears is an important part of being a marketer: “The only real response you need to make is ‘thanks’ – and then to try to take on board what the person said and how it can help you.”

The truth is not everything you say or create will be widely accepted and loved. There will always be differences of opinion.

Vera Jones, president of Vera’s Voice Works, really hits that nail on the head when she says:

“Your focus should not be about being approved, but rather being improved! True winners are always looking for ways to get better. Seeking to be approved involves a lot of unstable emotion. Seeking to be improved involves a lot of stable evaluation.

“If your mindset and your desire is to be improved, then you will remain open to all forms of constructive critique because you will always be welcoming and processing for information to grow or to better yourself, your product, or your service.”

Criticism can be invaluable to your personal and professional growth. The trick is to be able to assess where that feedback is coming from, reflect, and then react, rather than jump the gun and get defensive immediately.

 

2. Ignore it

Of course, feedback also comes from sources that do not have the same level of experience as you do. Many people tell you what you should do without saying anything of value.

According to a study in Psychology Today, most hateful banter comes from online trolls. What fuels these individuals to be so vocal on the internet is the mask of anonymity, also referred to as the online disinhibition effect. Forums like Reddit or social networks like Twitter and Facebook bring large and diverse audiences, but that also means they’re places where you are more likely to fall victim to the social identity model of deindividuation effects. In more simple terms, you are more likely to experience an online mob mentality.

People team up on the person in the spotlight, often out of jealousy. If this is the case, heed the advice of Peep Laja, founder of ConversionXL, and Warren Greshes, president of Speaking of Success: Ignore the negativity.

Sometimes it is better to only listen to those you know, respect, and trust, Greshes says. Others may be talking flack because they are bitter, jealous, or entitled.

3. Hear it

Just because someone has something bad to say doesn’t mean you need to accept it as truth. You can choose to listen and acknowledge people who share their thoughts without agreeing with them.  A lot of the time, people just want to know that they have been heard.

Hear the commentary, say thank you, and move on.

Daniel Lewis, co-founder of MARSketing, says it best:

“After you’ve tried so many things and experienced failure to some degree, you get to a place where you appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time out of their life to actually say anything about what you’re doing. I mean, seriously, they could have just ignored it completely, but it was interesting enough to evoke some form of an opinion.”

Whether you’re a content creator or a vice president of marketing, sometimes the best thing to do when people send angry messages your way is to hear them out and respond. In many circumstances, particularly with external audiences, your critics will be surprised you even acknowledged them.

Comedian Eric André once said he noticed one guy would comment hateful things every time Eric posted an image to Instagram. Eventually, he tweeted at the commenter to ask why he was so upset by the photo. You know what happened? The commenter immediately retracted his statement and confessed that he was a huge fan of Eric’s, and that he meant no harm.

What does this tell you? A lot of people are really just hungry for some attention.

4. Own it

As human beings, we often have a tendency to immediately reject all forms of criticism. We become defensive and take it personally. I’m no stranger to this reaction. Although “not taking it personally” is easier said than done, sometimes owning that feedback and accepting it is the first step to growth.

Salma Jafri, a speaker and trainer, says negative criticism helps her realize that her work is not bland: “It’s eliciting an emotion … would you not rather be interesting than boring?”

 

Some of the best content stirs the pot. Writer Ryan McCready uses a data-driven approach to challenge the status quo. We published one of his articles on hashtag spam that resulted in a lot of angry commentary and hateful emails. What did Ryan do? He owned it. He stood by his argument and directly addressed much of the criticism that came his way in the comments. What he didn’t do was take the feedback personally. Why? He was confident in his research-backed statements.

The point is that you need to accept that your message will not be received well by everybody, but that’s OK. Don’t ignore their feedback, but don’t automatically let it sway you.

Final words

Negative feedback sucks. As marketers, though, we must constantly take risks by putting ourselves, our brand, and our content in the spotlight and being subject to angry tweets, harsh Facebook posts, or blog comment trolls. If you truly took to heart what every internet personality threw your way, you’d fall into a pit of despair. Instead, remember to take every comment with a grain of salt. After all, when you devote your energy to make a name or grow your brand and let the naysayers focus their energy on defeating feedback, you are the one who will get ahead in the long run.

Source: contentmarketinginstitute.com–  Nadya Khoja – Februari 1, 2017

Lorraine Koevoets

Lorraine Koevoets

Brand & Marketing Specialist

Medior Marcom Specialist

Heb jij telecom ervaring, ben je communicatief ijzersterk en wil jij werken in een dynamische omgeving? Neem nu contact met me op voor de vacature Medior Marcom Specialist!

Digital Tansformation – Top 100 Influencers and Brands

Digital transformation is the term given to the transformation of business activities, processes and models to fully leverage the opportunities of new digital technologies. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, companies that have implemented digital technologies across their business are more successful in enhancing revenue sources, competing against digital natives and outperforming peers. The internet, robotics, artificial…

eweek

Amsterdam eWeek – 2 t/m 7 oktober 2017

The Amsterdam eWeek is an Emerce initiative in close cooperation with several participants, sponsors and the City of Amsterdam. After the succesful launch in 2013, starts the fifth edition of eWeek in October 2017. The goal of Amsterdam eWeek is to provide a platform for national and international companies that focus on online marketing, media…

fd_gaz_07_basis

Newpeople mag zich met trots FD Gazelle 2016 noemen!

Ieder jaar reikt Het Financieele Dagblad de FD Gazellen Awards uit aan de snelst groeiende bedrijven van Nederland. De FD Gazellen staan dit jaar in het teken van ondernemershelden. Alle ondernemingen die de afgelopen drie jaar een omzetgroei van ten minste 20% hebben gehaald, winnen een FD Gazellen Award. Met trots mag Newpeople zich ook…

" “If you can dream it, you can do it.”"Walt Disney

De staat van marketing automation in b2b

Marketing automation maakt het mogelijk om fasen in het marketingproces of zelfs hele processen te automatiseren. Daarmee is het een grote stap naar meer schaalbaarheid, efficiency en effectiviteit. Want marketing automation helpt marketeers relevant te zijn voor hun klanten op een schaal die anderszins niet haalbaar is. Relevant voor de leads die je genereert en…

digital b2B

Emerce B2B Digital Europe – 3 oktober 2017

Een internationaal event voor innovatieve online professionals en experts in B2B communicatie voor de meest succesvolle Europese bedrijven in verschillende sectoren als de IT, Telecom, Transport en Chemie. B2B Digital Europe zal de meest progressieve innovaties behandelen in digital en eCommerce. Het Europees event wat bedrijven zal helpen om de juiste tools te implementeren voor…

" “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”"Theodore Roosevelt

Newpeople over de Marketeer van vandaag

Formule Manager

Kan jij met jouw online en ondernemende mindset deze grote B2B speler verder professionaliseren op gebied van online? Krijg jij daarnaast energie van het creëren en realiseren van een omnichannel visie? Lees de vacature dan snel door en neem contact met mij op!

Freelancer vs Employee

UX: Vast of Interim?

“Een goede UX’er werkt op interim basis. Ik weet dus niet of het zin heeft om deze vacature voor een vaste positie uit te zetten.” Dat kreeg ik afgelopen week te horen van een van mijn opdrachtgevers. Ik keek hier raar van op. Mijn collega Thijs Speet werkt aan interim vacatures en kent zodoende veel freelance…

travel europo

eTravel Europe – 3 oktober 2017

WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA? eTravel Europe brings you a diverse and interesting programme of not only excellent talks in various streams, but also one-on-one meetings, workshops, a start-up showcase and private dinner. Here’s what to expect from the programme: Full day from 8.30am to 6.00pm in Amsterdam Both plenary and interactive sessions on a wide…

REMeiland NEWPEOPLE Office

The House of Newpeople

The House of Newpeople is situated at the REMeiland. The REMeiland is a platform built in the Republic of Ireland and towed off the Dutch coast in 1964 as the pirate broadcasting home of Radio and TV Noordzee. Both stations were dismantled by armed forces of the Netherlands. The building was placed in the North…

" “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” "John F. Kennedy

Performance Marketing Manager

Do you want to make a difference with a European eCommerce player in Amsterdam? As Performance Marketing Manager you will be responsible for the strategy of all performance marketing channels such as SEA, Affiliate, CRM, Display Advertisement and e-mail campaigns for the European market. Interested to learn more about this vacancy? Please contact me! 

linked

Inschrijvingen Digital Transformers Award 2017 geopend

Digital Transformers reikt op donderdag 5 oktober 2017 voor de derde keer de Digital Transformers Award (DTA) uit. Met de uitreiking in de A’DAM Toren worden de grootste digitale transformers van Nederland in de schijnwerpers gezet. In 2016 nam Anouk Beeren namens Deli XL de award in ontvangst, waar in 2015 Robert van Geffen van Philips met…

eretail

Emerce eRetail Europe – 4 oktober 2017

What is eRetail Europe? This one-day event is designed to help great retailers become even greater online by helping them navigate digital trends, advertising, and new technologies. What sets it apart is the exclusive guest list of serious professionals, the valuable community building, and our highly interactive format. Oh, and a good dose of entertainment…

" “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”"Oprah Winfrey