You slave over your content with blood sweat and tears and you unleash it on the world hoping that it will be taken up by your audience like hotcakes. You think it’s the best thing ever. You are finally happy with the writing style of your post or the lighting in your video or the perfect colour combination for your image. You sit by your laptop and surreptitiously check your notifications to see how your audience is taking your latest content.
Or maybe you manage to tear yourself away from your device, go to bed and wake up in the morning to receive all the love your content will have gotten overnight.
There are many ways to give feedback on content for all media. Comments, likes, stars, claps, shares are all expressions of feedback on your content from your audience.
It’s the nature of online platforms that it’s easy to give feedback and it’s also very easy to do it anonymously. Or share content without the author knowing their content has been shared. Once your stuff is online, it’s hard to keep track of reactions to your content once it’s been shared out of your arena.
Once I accidentally found a review of a workshop I did years ago from a person I could barely remember. The review has been up online for years without me knowing and it was feedback on the topic I was teaching and my teaching skills. Luckily it was positive feedback but it was a shame that I didn’t know about it for a long time. I could have used it as a testimonial.
Not all feedback is positive though and once your content is published, you have little control over the feedback that is given on it.
In any case, feedback can be used for many things other than as testimonials and there are certainly some dos and don’ts you can apply to handling this type of content.
DON’T take any feedback personally.
My experience, as both giving and receiving feedback is, the longer one spends on creating a piece of content, the stronger they feel about the feedback received. Especially negative feedback. They identify with the piece of content they created because they have poured their heart and soul into it.
Any negative feedback will go down in history about as well as your cat pooping in your shoes. Some people make it a sport to get personal online from behind a keyboard and screen. Don’t give them the forum and your power by taking their “feedback” personally.
DO consider where the feedback is coming from before you let yourself wallow too much in that “cat-pooped-in-my-shoe” feeling.
Is this a person whose opinion you value? If it’s someone you used to know in 5th grade who recently found you on Facebook and has no idea what you do, chances are their feedback is worth as much to you as a fart in a windstorm.
Based on the feedback, do you think this person actually fully consumed your content? I have seen people making a royal ass of themselves by giving feedback on something they very obviously haven’t watched or read properly.
If that is the case, give their feedback a big fat miss (or maybe even the elevation of your middle finger) and move on. Also be prepared to receive feedback from people who are convinced they are the online godfather of the topic you have just blogged about and they know better. Their knowledge might be from 1973 but according to themselves, they are hot stuff.
Again, follow the big fat miss with middle finger routine.
DON’T throw away content just because you got negative feedback.
Your first reaction might be to stomp your feet and throw a tantrum and by all means, if you think it will make you feel better, do it! I’m not going to judge you. Just don’t take your content down! You know what they say about opinions and orifices … That everybody has one.
What you do with your business will not appeal to everyone and that includes your content. Some will be more verbal about expressing their dislike to you directly and some will go off and sulk in a corner of the internet somewhere, keyboard bashing and criticising you.
It’s free speech and as much as it pains you, there is nothing you can do about it. Unless of course you are looking at initiating a defamation suit or some such but that is not what we are discussing in this article.
DO revise if necessary and improve your content only if there really is something to improve.
Things like grammar and spelling are always a good thing to start with though that is something that should have been done before you published your content.
If people point out any inaccuracies in your content, do your own research. Either change your data or stand by it. If people point out some obvious quality issues, such as bad audio or vision with your audio or video media, fix them if you are able.
Are there are usability issues, like your content not working on a particular browser or device? If you can, fix it. If you can’t fix it, let the people know. You’d be surprised how many people take it personally and get offended when you have content that for some reason doesn’t work under certain circumstances.
It’s like you are diminishing their civil rights or something.
DON’T change the content just because someone doesn’t like it.
If someone wants to be offended by your content, they will be. No matter what you do. So unless your content is clearly discriminatory and offensive, you don’t need to pander to anyone’s likes or dislikes about your content. Remember, you are creating your content for your tribe, not the entire population of the planet.
It’s impossible to appeal to everyone’s taste and preferences. Stick with what works for your tribe, after all you know them better than anyone. People have the choice of belonging to your tribe or not. If they don’t jive with your content anymore, they know where the door is.
If they don’t, show it to them. Keep in mind that this also shouldn’t stop you from growing as a person and as a business. It’s natural that your opinions will change along with your wisdom you want to pass onto your tribe. Some will walk alongside you while you grow, some will not.
Don’t let yourself be pulled back or dimmed because someone couldn’t keep up with you.
DO keep positive feedback somewhere you can access it for a pick-me-up on days when you need a lift.
I have a folder on my computer where I keep great and uplifting feedback people have left me on my content. Negative feedback can pull you down easily and it’s hard to get back up from it sometimes.
When you have something handy and easily accessible that reminds you just how much your peeps love you and your content, it’s much easier to get back into the saddle and leave the negative feedback behind you in the dust.
When you have a chance to leave feedback, remember, be kind with your words. Make sure you give it from a place of support and nurturing, even if you have to give negative feedback. Afterall, we are all human and we fumble.
Have you stopped creating content because someone gave you negative feedback and now you just question yourself on everything you create? Let’s chat about how I can help you get back into the groove of creating amazing content that will serve both you and your audience.