Getting Noticed? Expect Critics

stick_figure_chosen_from_many_leader-stand out from the crowd

“I've been getting some bad publicity – but you got to expect that.
Elvis Presley

Elvis took some hits in the media back in the day, some deserved and I am sure, some that were off-base.  It is the price you pay for being a public figure and enjoying the perks of fame.

Now, on the Internet, anyone can promote their expertise and business for low cost or no cost.  By the same token, anyone can post a harsh, possibly unfounded criticism about what you do for all to see.  When you become your own media company and are using  online video, writing, and speaking to become more visible, you are open to the public's opinions and assessments. 

Some people seem to think it’s perfectly okay to insult you with an anonymous critique or even a snarky comment made right to your face at a conference, etc.  I don’t think some even realize they’re insulting you while others just relish being nasty.  That’s a reflection on their character, not yours. 

Look at any YouTube comment stream and the same video can get comments from You're fabulous to You're an idiot to You're !!!#*!#*!! 

If you are an expert looking to boost your profile with publicity, develop a thick skin. You need to be confident in your abilities, give your best to your patients, clients, customers, fans and followers and be ready to face critics.

One of my clients received a scathing email after sending out his newsletter.  Rather than react bitterly or defensively, he simply replied "wow."  The person who sent the email followed up with a profuse apology, explaining he'd had a bad day and the arrival of my client's newsletter, through no fault of its own, had sent him over the edge.  He complimented the content of the newsletter and said he enjoyed reading it.  Wow, indeed.

I am not saying you should be tone-deaf or ignore constructive criticism.  Just consider the source and if the comments are from someone reliable whom you respect, take heed.  It’s funny how 100 people could compliment you or your work and if only one person complains, all you’ll remember is the critic.  It’s human nature.

When I was on TV, we had a decent viewership. Thousands tuned in every night.  Obviously, that wasn’t entirely my doing, but I like to think I contributed to attracting the audience.  Still there were times when I was out on the street reporting, that someone would say, “You’re so much prettier in person” or “You’re so much shorter, fatter, older or whatever, than you are on TV.”  Ouch!

Even when someone complimented a story, they invariably could not remember the subject of the report, only that I was standing out in the rain or wearing a blue coat! 

In truth, most people don’t think deep thoughts about other people’s expertise. They form opinions based on superficial impressions.  How many of us are able to judge quality dentistry or bio-medical engineering? Heck, even the quality of my auto mechanic is beyond me.  Are my teeth healthy? Is my high tech medical device working right?  Is my car fixed?  That’s what matters to me.

Be open to learning from feedback, but put criticism in its proper perspective and do not dwell on it or beat yourself up. There’s no pleasing everyone all the time. 

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Janet Vasil

On-Camera, Speaker & Media Trainer/Coach at Vasil Media Group | Your Media Moment & Beyond
Virtual Communication Specialist Janet Vasil is a former award-winning, EMMY®-nominated TV Journalist who teaches business professionals to communicate with impact on-camera, in media interviews, and as public speakers. Contact at http://bit.ly/Talk2Janet

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