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Brands are built by and for people, which means at some point your brand will necessarily need to interact with other people. At some point, you’re going to start receiving feedback.

No matter what your brand is, there will be people who love your brand and people who don’t. Some will give you a “thumbs up” on your post, others might leave a nasty comment, while others yet simply ignore the hard work you’ve put in.

Have you noticed it’s easy to base the worth and value of our brands on the opinions of others? The positive feedback makes us feel great, while negative feedback makes us doubt everything we do.

Yet feedback is inevitable. It’s going to come whether you want it or not.

The way you handle and use feedback is vital for the health of your brand, even if it’s negative. In this episode we talk about the various forms of feedback and how to deal with it when it comes.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • Send something nice to somebody and tell them that they’re doing a good job.
  • Not everyone will like you or your brand, and even those who do will never agree on everything.
  • Negative feedback can be constructive.
  • People take things personally because they want to be liked.
  • Determine what you can learn from the feedback you’re receiving.
  • Have confidence in your mission, purpose, and values, and it will be easier to manage feedback.
  • Your identity isn’t wrapped up in what other people say or think about you.
  • Give someone permission to speak into your life constructively so you can become a better person or a better brand.
  • Speak with kindness and positivity to people who are negative and you will take away their power.
  • Leave messages and feedback that you would want to receive.
  • Always be listening.
  • Negative feedback can even come from someone who loves your brand.
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Show Notes
  • 02:47 Cory: This topic has the possibility of being a controversial topic, but we want to be helpful. We want people to think through the ways they’re working on their brand and the ways they are receiving feedback. When I brought this up in the seanwes Community chat, immediately this huge conversation started that was really good. People were sharing about their experiences and comments they received. If there’s anything that brings us all together as human beings, it’s the way that others communicate to us and about us and the kinds of feedback that we get.
  • 03:39 That’s just part of the human experience, communicating and giving and receiving information. When it comes to having a brand, feedback can feel so much bigger. The brand is an extension of ourselves, of who we are, so it can be very positive or very negative. Today, we’re talking about how to manage and reign that in and how to deal with negative, hateful, and neutral feedback.

Types of Feedback

  • 04:25 Kyle: It’s interesting that you mentioned those two things, Cory. There’s negative feedback and there’s hateful feedback, and that’s something important to highlight. Hateful feedback is someone trying to ruin your day and not looking at things objectively. I think it’s easy for someone to look at negative feedback and think that they should just ignore it completely, and there are cases where that’s really helpful. There are also cases where someone is just trying to get a reaction or a response.
  • 05:14 Cory: I wonder if there’s a better way to describe those. I list here different styles of feedback that you can get—positive, neutral, and negative feedback, but then I looked at it. Under “positive,” I had written, “Constructive, uplifting.” Looking at the word constructive, there could be negative feedback that is constructive. I wonder if saying “positive” and “negative” is even helpful, and if instead we should say, “Was this constructive or was this non-constructive? Was this uplifting or was this spiteful?” Like Kyle said, there could be negative feedback that’s actually good.
  • 05:59 Kyle: Whether feedback is negative or positive depends on your goals. Those two words work really well, because it’s either negative or positive toward what you’re doing, and those could be constructive either way. Someone might say, “I really liked this episode of Invisible Details,” or, “It didn’t do much for me.” Or, they could say, “This is the worst episode of Invisible Details that I’ve heard.” If it stops there, it’s not very constructive. Instead, someone could say, “I didn’t enjoy this episode because of XYZ. It didn’t do what your normal shows do, and I didn’t really like it.” That’s negative. It’s not what you wanted, but it’s still constructive.
  • 06:56 Cory: When people hear about the idea of feedback or comments, especially on the internet, there’s a sense that it’s going to be negative. When we talk about feedback, we usually talk more about the negative feedback than we talk about positive feedback. I think the reason is because it’s so much easier for people to write about stuff they didn’t like than for them to write about stuff they do like. What is the ratio between negative reviews on a product and positive reviews? If you have a negative experience with something, you’re going to hop on Yelp and say, “This was a terrible restaurant,” or, “This hotel had no pillows,” or, “I went to the store and this thing wasn’t there.”

It’s easier to leave negative feedback online because we feel like we’ve been robbed.

  • 07:57 When we’re leaving the feedback, we’re thinking, “Someone has wronged me, and I need to make sure that no one else gets wronged again.” There’s this little bit of justice. You go on and you write the review. If you have a good experience, you aren’t really thinking about it. This is what you expected, so you don’t necessarily think to leave a review or send in a positive email. I don’t know how many times I’ve received emails saying, “Hey, there’s this typo,” or, “Hey, there’s this thing I don’t agree with,” vs. “Thank you so much for this really helpful email/newsletter/episode.” Thankfully, we have an amazing audience. We get a lot of feedback of people saying that it’s helping them, and that’s really good.

Feedback Feels Personal

  • 08:49 Sometimes it feels like all you hear is the negative. Jon Acuff runs a blog online, and he’s a really funny dude. He’s also a great speaker, but he’s got a bunch of different books. I heard him speak one time, and he called this Critic’s Math, where 1,000 compliments plus one criticism equals one criticism. We receive all of that feedback, but all we focus on is the negative. A lot of that is because we take those things personally. Somebody says something negative about a product that we make, a piece of music we put out, or a podcast episode we’ve done, and we take that personally because it’s an extension of who we are. It’s something we created. When we think of feedback, that’s why we automatically think of all the negative feedback.
  • 09:58 Kyle: People that own brands or put products or music out there are the people that really have a passion for what they’re doing and a connection with what they’re sharing. That’s why it feels so personal, because there’s a sense of pride for what they’ve created. Managing that is tough, because you could lash out at that person and say, “You just don’t get it. It’s supposed to be like this because XYZ.” That kind of reaction isn’t necessarily helpful. It doesn’t do anything. Negative feedback can be constructive, but if you have to sit around and justify every time someone is negative to you, it’s not a good use of your time and it’s not constructive.
  • 10:51 It could potentially be even more destructive, because the person could continue telling you what they don’t like about it and continue to take you down a negative path. The original comment may have even been more constructive than further feedback that you would get. I want to encourage everyone listening to go send something to someone who has given value to you through something they’ve shared recently, even if you think that person is untouchable and they won’t ever read what you sent them. I guarantee you, that at some level, that will be received. If they don’t respond to you, it’s probably because they have so much mail coming in. Don’t expect a response.

Send something nice to somebody and tell them that they’re doing a good job.

  • 11:51 I know, as a content creator, that it’s great to receive those emails and know that things are going well. It’s not a pride thing or an ego boost, but it makes you think, “My brand is going well and people are enjoying it.” That’s really good to see. That person could be going through a tough time. In our last episode, we talked about failure and how to cope with a failed brand, so maybe somebody is feeling that way about their brand and you could brighten someone’s day that you’ve gotten a lot out of.
  • 12:26 Cory: I love that, Kyle. I highly endorse that. That’s a great idea. Pause the podcast and send someone a tweet, an email, a comment, or whatever. Just do it. One of the reasons that we take things so personally is that people want to be liked. I know this very personally. My Myers Briggs is ENFP, so I’m extroverted, feeling, intuitive, and perceiving. You can go look that up if you don’t know anything about it. I really want people to like me, and that’s just a part of my personality. I want to be accepted. That’s part of being a human—being accepted. You want to know that you have a place and that you have purpose.
  • 13:37 The problem that we run into when we’re creating things online or we’re building a brand is that we want to be accepted by the largest amount of people.

Not everyone will like you or your brand, and even those who do will never agree on everything.

Resonance

  • 13:55 I use this word a lot—the musical term “resonate.” If you don’t know what resonating is, go on YouTube and type in “resonate.” Basically, it’s the idea of synchronization. If you listen to a musical chord or note and then you play a different note, are those harmonizing together well? Do they flow? Are they connecting well? If there’s dissonance or a disconnect, it’s not going to sound good. People may not resonate with you, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost value or that the people you’re trying to reach hate you and you’re not worth anything. It just means that people aren’t resonating with you.

Not everyone is going to like what you make, and you need to be okay with that.

  • 14:55 You need to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. Guess what? That’s life. You’re not going to please everybody, no matter how great you are or what great things you do. Not everyone is going to resonate with you. Think about all of the actors who pour their heart and soul into a performance or a movie, and when the movie comes out and the reviews hit, everyone hated it. He or she has the acting ability of a wooden plank. When you look at that, you think, “It must suck for those people to read those reviews.” The truth is that people just aren’t resonating with you, and that’s okay. Not everyone has to.
  • 15:42 This movie came out last week, Batman vs. Superman, the new one with Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman. Right now, on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s got a 30% or something like that. Critics are spitting on it and everyone hates it, but I went to the movie with my wife, and I enjoyed it. I genuinely liked the movie. It resonated with me. I thought it was a fantastic film. I thought it was fun. I had my critiques, but I enjoyed it as a film. Not everybody is going to, and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to look at your art and say, “That’s the best art ever!” Not everyone can be objective about it. They’re not all going to listen to your music, look at the lettering piece you made, look at the website you designed, or look at the technological advancement that you achieved and say, “That was a really great thing.”
  • 16:40 A lot of people are probably going to say, “I could do that better. That’s awful. Why did you waste your time?” There are always going to be people like that. Accept that and don’t internalize it, because you can find value in every piece of feedback. You can always find value. It doesn’t mean that you need to internalize it, but determine what you can learn from the feedback you’re receiving.

Benefits of Polarization

  • 17:07 Kyle: Something really important for especially a brand, but even an individual, to remember, is that being polarizing—where you have people who are very on board with what you’ve said or done and people that aren’t—is actually a good thing. It’s good for your brand to do that. Not everyone will like it, but the more you polarize and create a divide between the people who do and don’t like what you’re doing, the stronger that bond is from the people who do resonate with you. They’re on board with you, and they know you’re firm in your stances. Sure, you’ll get negative feedback.
  • 17:51 That’s not always exciting, and it can feel very personal, but you’ll start to get very positive feedback as well. People will say, “I’m really glad you’re standing for this, because I don’t agree with that, either,” or, “I’m really glad you’re trying to push toward this thing, because I agree that the world should be this way.” One good example of this is Disney. I don’t know if they’ve every publicly expressed this, but you can tell that they draw the line at things like horror films. There is not a Disney horror film. That’s not what their company does.
  • 18:36 There are reasons for that—values, morals, and principles behind that brand that dictates that they do not do horror films. If Disney came out with a public article that said, “We don’t do horror films and here’s why. We’re not out to scare people. We think horror films are really bad…” Sure, they’re going to get negative feedback. People will say, “That’s narrow-minded of you.” The people who are really invested in Disney as a brand are going to say, “They really stood up for this. We agree with that, and we don’t want that kind of film in the world either.” They’re much more on board with Disney at that point, and that’s a good thing.

It’s good for your brand to say what you believe in and to stand for something.

  • 19:33 Another example of this would be Tesla. Tesla works on the future of electricity, electric cars, and in-home electric batteries to power your home off of the power grid. That’s what they stand for. They’ll say, “We don’t like cars that run on gasoline, because we don’t believe that’s good for the environment.” They’ll go through all of these reasons and they stand for a very clear message of wanting the future to be electric because it’s cleaner and they want to help the environment. A lot of people get behind that, because they agree with that message.
  • 20:15 If Tesla just said, “Electric is really nice, but you could drive a car with gas. Choose whatever you want, because we just want you guys to be happy,” that doesn’t create a strong brand backing. Understand that even though you will get negative feedback from something strong that you’ve said, it’s a good thing to do that.

Manage Feedback Through Confidence

  • 20:49 Cory: Steve asked earlier, “How do you avoid taking unsolicited feedback personally?” When you have confidence in your mission, purpose, and values, it’s easier to manage feedback. You know where you’re going, what your goals are, and what your values are. You understand that not everyone is going to resonate with you or like you. Not everyone is going to like what you produce, and that’s okay. Look at the smart phone war. How many people say, “That one’s terrible! You’re such a fanboy! You’re an idiot if you buy…”? None of that matters. Those things are subjective. What I like and what someone else likes could be totally different.
  • 21:32 I don’t really like scary horror movies with jump scares, and there are some people who live for that stuff. That’s fine. They can do that. I don’t want to watch it, but they can. I don’t need to produce what everyone is going to agree with. We aren’t even going to attempt to go into politics, but there are a lot of people in the world with different views on politics and how government should be run. We’ve all had those wonderful, uncomfortable family conversations, where everyone else is saying these things and you’re thinking, “I don’t agree with that… I don’t know what to do…” That doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you understand that your identity isn’t wrapped up in what other people say or think about you.

  • 22:28 Kyle: Especially as a brand, you have to realize that it can be taken personally, because you’ve built this brand, but a brand is it’s own entity. We’ve talked a lot about brand as a personality, kind of like a child that you raise (Related: e004 Understanding Brand as Personality and Why It Matters). You want to have that stand firm. Values and mission need to align with your own values and purpose in life, but maybe it’s highlighted more through that brand. You want to create that strong feeling in a certain direction.
  • 23:14 As a person, you may not be going around saying, “I don’t like horror films, and horror films need to just go away,” but as Disney, you might say that, in order to make your values and your mission very clear. There’s a distinct line between personal and brand or business, and it’s hard for people to see past that. I had a recent experience with one of my wife’s cousins who is building this little brand on the side. It started with him just helping friends and family, but now he’s offering it as a service to other people. It’s gotten to the point where he’s started getting negative feedback from certain people about things that he does.
  • 24:07 He’s taken that very personally, because he feels like, “This is just something that I do.” There needs to be a re-alignment to seeing it as a brand and as a business. Not everyone is going to agree with the way you operate, and if they don’t, that’s fine. You need to move on and not feel like you have to keep justifying why you do what you do and trying to make them agree with that and fit into a box that they just don’t fit into.

The People in Your Life

  • 24:45 Cory: Up to this point, people could listen to this show and think, “If it’s negative, I’ll just throw it in the trash and not worry about it or internalize it and just keep doing what I’m doing.” That’s actually not what we’re saying. The first part of responding to feedback that is so vital is that you need to have someone you trust in your inner circle who is not just a yes-person. Marcus Buckingham and his team put together the Strengths Finder test. It’s really good. Marcus is a speaker and an author, and he works on helping people find their strengths and how people work together in a work environment.
  • 25:45 There’s also a book called Stand Out, which helps you figure out what your strengths are and how to connect with other people on your team. He referred to this one time as your “board of directors.” As an example, let’s say you have a large business with a board of directors on it, and they’re the ones who say, “Here’s what the company needs to do. Let’s all work together.” He asked the question, “Who is on your board of directors? Who is sitting at the table in your life? Who are the people you would go to and say, ‘What do I do?'” This is in life and in your brand, and it’s not always a literal board of directors. You need to give those people permission to not agree with you, to rip you a new one.
  • 26:43 You have to give them permission to not always just say, “What you’re doing is really great, keep it up! You’re a star! You’re a champion! You get all the trophies just for playing.” These need to be people that, if they say something about what you’re doing or they have feedback, you take that into consideration. You have to have those people in your life. That’s not because you’re letting someone to run your life, but we get so caught up in the things that we do and we get our focus so dialed in on the things that we’re working on that, sometimes, it’s hard to be objective about our lives. I don’t care if you’re the most objective person in the world. You could be doing something and not see the negative impact it’s having on someone else or on your goals.
  • 27:39 You need to have someone who can come to you and say, “There’s something you need to work on,” or, “You asked me this question, and I’m going to tell you what I really think.”

Give someone the permission and the ability to speak into your life constructively so you can become a better person or a better brand.

  • 28:05 Kyle: These people need to be able to invest into what you’re doing. They need to understand the direction you’re going and be supportive of that while also providing real feedback. Cory talked about “yes-people,” but then there are people who can look at things objectively. There’s also a third type of person, because I’ve experienced this in my life, who is complacent with everything. They ask how work is going, and you say, “I’ve been doing XYZ, and I’m working toward this goal and I think we’re about to hit it. I’ve had some struggles lately, but it’s all coming out okay, I think.” They say, “Oh, that’s good.” They asked the question just to ask the question, and there’s no real investment.
  • 28:59 They won’t say, “Oh, man, it sounds like you’re struggling.” They don’t really listen. They just say, “That’s cool. I want to talk about myself now.” That’s a little bit obvious, but the more of those people you have in your life, the more discouraging it is. You’re expressing something that’s going on in your life or your brand, and they can’t give you any feedback, not even, “That’s really exciting.” That’s toxic as well.

How Do You Respond to Feedback?

  • 29:41 Cory: Should you change everything just because you got a bunch of feedback about it? People joke about this, where teens upload a picture to Instagram and if it doesn’t get a certain number of likes in a certain amount of minutes, they delete it and try again. They’ll sit there for an hour or two hours trying to get this perfect selfie or whatever. Or, if you upload something and it gets a bunch of negative feedback, do you delete it? Or, if there’s a bunch of positive feedback, is it actually accomplishing your goals? I want to emphasize this. You need to prioritize what you adjust.
  • 30:30 You need to determine if the required adjustment is going to be better for your brand or if it’s just appeasing the masses. Is the feedback that came in worth your focus? Is it something you need to change, or is it indicative of another problem?

Getting negative feedback doesn’t necessarily mean that you should or shouldn’t do something about it.

  • 31:12 Kyle: All feedback really has to go through a filter. Break that apart and determine what they’re really saying, whether that’s positive or negative. What’s the heart of this message? Write that somewhere and move on for a while. In the moment, whether the feedback is positive or negative, you’re going to have a reaction to the feedback immediately that you won’t have later. There’s that instant shock factor. Either you’re very elated and excited, or you’re very angry and confused. You could react the wrong way in the moment.
  • 31:47 You have to be able to put that feedback aside for a little while, but still understand that you need to evaluate it. Let’s say you get positive feedback. Who is that positive feedback from? Is that someone you’re targeting for your brand, someone you want to be interested in your brand? It’s great that they sent you feedback, but is that really who you want to appeal to? If someone who would otherwise send negative feedback because they don’t agree with you is sending you positive feedback, there could be some adjustments you need to make because you’re not attracting the right people. It’s the same with negative feedback.
  • 32:46 You look at the negative feedback and determine whether this aligns with your goals, mission, and the values you have established for this brand. If you were to change the thing this person it talking about, would that affect them negatively? Am I doing something wrong? Am I going down the wrong path and this person is highlighting that for me? There has to be an evaluation time. That doesn’t mean that every piece of feedback has to be analyzed carefully. At the beginning of a brand, when you don’t get a lot of feedback, it’s valuable to do that, but over time you’ll get more and more feedback that’s both positive and negative. Over time, it becomes easier to run that through your filters. Just because something is negative or positive doesn’t mean that it aligns with where you’re heading.
  • 33:51 Cory: You can’t cradle all of the feedback. You can’t manage all of it. If you have a small brand right now, you can respond to more.

As you grow, you’re going to receive more feedback than you can handle.

  • 34:09 You can’t handle it all. You can’t bear the weight of all the feedback on your shoulders, and you shouldn’t try to. If anything, bring that feedback to your trusted advisors. If I received a comment about the show, I would go to Kyle or Sean or my wife, and I would say, “I just got this. Objectively, from where you are, what do you think this means?” I might even go to some people who don’t listen to the show and say, “Someone just said that I’m the scum of the earth and I should never speak again. Should I listen to that? Is my show the worst thing that has ever haunted the internet?”
  • 34:51 I use that as a silly example, but you can bring the feedback you receive to people who are in your inner circle. In the past, I’ve had people come to me and say, “Hey, I got this really hateful email. It didn’t just say, ‘You suck, stop doing this,’ but it was an in-depth analysis of my work, my brand, and what I’m working towards. Is this something I should listen to? Is this actually indicative of what I’m doing? Is this true?” When people come to me with this stuff, I talk with them about it and it can turn out okay, but it’s important to have someone else read that and walk through it with you.
  • 35:45 On the other hand, there is value in ignoring things. If people are just sending you hate comments, you can ignore that. The worst thing you can do is reply defensively. Replying to negative or hateful comments is okay, but if you find yourself being defensive to negative feedback, it shows that you are probably insecure about your work, your brand, or your business. If you feel compelled to respond defensively when someone sends you something negative, you are insecure. That’s the truth. You need people on your board of directors, people in your inner circle, to speak truth to you and tell you how to wade through that stuff. A lot of negative feedback will come from people who don’t resonate with what you’re doing, and that’s okay.
  • 37:00 Don’t reply defensively. Don’t go in and try to prove your point with this really long thing written out. Speak in kindness and positivity, even if you say, “Thank you for your feedback. It’s really valuable. I’m trying to do my best.” That is so much more powerful.

When you speak with kindness and positivity to people who are negative, it takes away their power, because they feed off of negativity.

  • 37:33 When you are positive, when you let that stuff run through a filter and you say, “Thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it,” what is a hater going to do with that? What will they say? It takes away their power. If you feel that you need to reply, be professional and mature. You’re an adult, and even if you’re not, you can reply like one. You don’t need to have a pity party. Just say, “Thanks for the feedback.” That’s so good. You’re negating the negativity, which boosts positivity. You’re turning to the other side of what could be a bad situation.
  • 38:28 I get passionate about that, because I see so many people going into comments and responding or writing emails with defensive replies, and that’s not necessary. You don’t know what’s going on in that person’s life or in their day. Just be positive. Your positive response might be good in their life. You don’t know if your response could make them think twice and think, “You know, that was actually a little bit harsh.” I think about all of the times when I’ve sent emails to companies that said something like, “I can’t believe you sent me such a terrible product. It arrived late and I’m angry and I’m going to get a refund!”
  • 39:08 They responded with full humility and said, “We take full responsibility. I’m so sorry that you had this experience.” In that moment, I realize that I’m the one that’s terrible. I respond and say, “It’s okay, I’ll make it work. Some of it was my fault.” In that moment, it became positive. Don’t reply defensively. If you’re going to reply, reply positively and briefly.

Know When to Ignore

  • 39:51 Kyle: It’s very easy for someone to say, “You’re going to tell me to ignore people? I don’t want to ignore people, because that’s rude.” We’re not advocating ignoring people, unless there is no value in what they share, that say, “You’re the worst person on earth.” Yes, you need to ignore that person. There’s no way to reply to that positively. You can’t say, “Oh, thanks, I’ll think about that.” It doesn’t do anything. There are people you have to ignore, and that’s a fact of life. Anyone who sends feedback that’s more than a sentence long had a reason for that, and there’s sincerity behind that.
  • 41:02 There’s something they felt or something they responded to. Maybe it doesn’t align with your goals and it’s not something you want to change, but you shouldn’t say, “I don’t want to read that because it’s just negative.” Earlier, we mentioned the example of Yelp reviews. I think it’s valuable for restaurants to go onto Yelp and see what people are saying and how they feel about this place. Some people just write, “I didn’t like this. This was bad,” but if anyone took the time to type a review, that means that it was meaningful enough in their life to take time to say something.
  • 42:02 There have been plenty of times that I go somewhere and I have a bad experience, and I think, “Oh well. I didn’t like that, so I’m not going back there.” It’s a neutral response. I don’t leave a review, positive or negative. Other times, I have gone somewhere fully expecting a good experience, and I leave a constructively negative response. It’s valuable for companies to look at that, because it made a big enough impact on me to go share that, which is something you have to keep in mind.

Leave messages and feedback that you would want to receive.

  • 42:53 Cory: When you’re leaving feedback, if you’re reviewing a product or sending an email, you need to filter this. Filter what you send to other people through the way you would want to receive information like that. You would want to know if every time you shipped out a product it was arriving damaged and destroyed. You would want to know if people in your customer service were not recommending your product or were going out of their way to make sure people didn’t buy from you. Companies and businesses don’t have to leave terrible public reviews, but have it be private. Send feedback directly, be respectful, and that is going to be positive for that company. We aren’t in this world to tear down other people. By helping other people succeed, we move forward.
  • 44:12 Kyle: Some responses don’t need to be returned publicly. I can think of a few situations where someone on Twitter or something said something negative, and it was constructively negative. It was just a comment. Instead of responding publicly where other people get involved and it becomes kind of a mess, it’s much better to reply to them in private. Say, “I took in that feedback and I was wondering if you could explain that a little bit more so I can understand.” Sometimes, it’s good to seek out a private response to certain things.

Negative Feedback Outside Your Target Audience

  • 45:01 Cory: Allison asked, “What should you do from negative feedback from people who are not in your target audience or may be from your audience but are in transition?” Always be listening. When you stop listening, you lose forever. Listen to the people who are consuming your content. Listen to the people who are viewing you from the outside. Listen to the people who are in your inner circle. You don’t need to internalize all of that, but you need to be listening. If you just shove your fingers in your ears, that’s not helpful. You won’t be successful if you stop listening, so always be listening.
  • 45:48 Kyle: That’s an important lesson that, to be honest, I’ve learned over the past few years. I like hearing what people have to say, and I’ve always thought of myself as someone who can listen and take things in. At some point, I realized that that’s not really the case. I was listening and hearing what they were saying, but we’re talking about listening and internalizing that, actually understanding what someone is saying and putting yourself in their shoes.

Negative feedback can come from someone who loves your brand.

  • 46:35 You’ve brought up a topic that triggers that thing that’s going wrong in their life. Sometimes, replying to that might be the best thing you’ve done, especially if you’re a small brand. You could say, “I normally see you enjoying the stuff that we’re doing. Now, I see this really negative feedback. Is everything okay?” That’s more of a personal response, because you never know what’s happening with someone. There is a lot of value in not making negative feedback internal, but I wanted to touch on this because it could seem like a mixed message. You don’t want to internalize negative feedback. You want to have positivity around you while you’re building a brand.
  • 47:32 Inevitably, there are people who are going to give you negative feedback. The difference between acknowledging that and internalizing it is really key. If you acknowledge it and say, “Somebody doesn’t like what I’m doing or this piece of content,” that’s good. Saying, “I guess I’ll never make another podcast, so I guess I’ll stick with blogs because people didn’t like the podcast we made,” isn’t a good approach. Look at your audience and how many people are there. Let’s say that you have 1,000 people in your audience and two people sent in negative feedback. You have another 998 people that weren’t affected negatively enough by it to get mad. Maybe you only get negative feedback from that, but it’s important not to internalize that and assume that everyone else feels that way.
  • 48:55 Cory: Eric wraps up the show so well. He says, “Lesson to learn here, establishing a brand or a name out there is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re trying to reach people, there will always be negative feedback.”
  • 49:07 Kyle: Just look at the people in history who have had an impact on the world. There were always people that were negative and didn’t agree with them. They polarized their audience like crazy. People didn’t agree with what they said, and that’s a big key. Be willing to stand for something strong enough to have people agree and disagree with what you’re doing.