A common worry that most podcasters have are people who give negative feedback on your content. I think I should be clear in this instance and tell you that there is a difference between constructive criticism and negative feedback.
In today's post I want to share with you what you can do to deal with the negative feedback with your podcast. Before I go any further I should probably share with you one of the many times I have gotten negative feedback from listeners.
Early in my full-time career on the radio, phone lines would always explode when I played a specific song or expressed my extreme enthusiasm in a particular artist.
As a radio personality, it's your job to encourage engagement by having the listeners call in and share their thoughts with you on your particular topic. When I would do this, I would have a small percentage of individuals who were more than critics. They were just straight haters.
I've heard everything from “you have a horrible voice” to “your station’s music sucks”.
In the beginning, I used to worry about these people. In fact, these haters would just call up and rag on you for the sake of being rude and mean.
Back in the day, I would actually argue with these individuals trying to convert them to enjoy the radio station and the personalities. But I soon realized these individuals are just hateful for the sake of killing time.
I remember telling my program director about all the haters that were calling up and he gave me some of the best advice that anyone could receive:
“Tell them, if they don't like what you have to play then turn the radio station to a different frequency.”
Initially in my mind I wanted to do this, but felt I would get in trouble for speaking up. But once he gave me permission to tell the listener to turn the radio station off, it made more sense to me.
Especially when it came to radio.
As I started to understand it, the goal of the radio station was to make it enjoyable for those who actually did listen. So my entire goal was about creating a positive experience for listeners.
You see, I'm also interested in my ratings if I’m giving quality experiences. Those who want to criticize and hate for the sake of being mean already have their mind made up.
I had just known that if I kept doing the right thing, I would have more people come out and support me than a number of people who would actually hate me.
A haters negative feedback needs to be ignored and blocked.
As a content creator you already know how much time and effort it takes to create a quality piece of content. If you're creating a podcast, start considering the time it takes to sit down and record the podcast, schedule guests, post a podcast to your blog, share out the podcast to social networks, respond back to messages on social media, and prepare for the next week's interview.
This doesn't seem like it's a lot, but once you start involving yourself and creating more content you realize there is a value that goes into the work you create.
And after all of the work that you create, all it takes is one person to ruin what you’ve done.
It takes one individual to ruin your entire day after you have worked so hard to create something that is, hopefully, helpful to someone else in the world.
And let's not forget about all the insecurities that you might have about the way you sound.
First of all, I would like to tell you that any insecurities you have about your voice or looks should be forgotten. I'm not sure if you realize this, but most people don't care what you look or sound like.
What they are interested in hearing is the content of what you create.
But on occasion you may get that one person who will make a comment about your voice, the way you dress, the way your audio sounds, and so forth. And that one piece of feedback might focus on hateful words instead of constructive criticism.
Just remember that you're the person who has worked up the courage to create content to share with the world.
Anyone who is choosing to be negative and hypercritical of your content are those who are not willing to do what you're doing.
They are merely armchair quarterbacks or keyboard warriors. Don't worry about them--worry about your mission to help others.
Have confidence in your ability to create content regularly and become an authority in your space.
Throughout my years of training other radio disc jockeys, I have always given them this piece of advice:
You create what you cultivate.
In other words, if your podcast program is centered around making fun of the appearance of movie stars, criticizing their belief systems, and sharing out nothing but negativity, that's what you're going to receive in return as far as listeners are concerned.
This is also going to be the feedback that you're going to get for your own content.
But if you're someone who is sharing out helpful information, content that is light-hearted and humorous, or entertaining information--you're likely going to get a nice balance of individuals who will leave supporting comments on your blog or for your podcast.
The reason I know this to be true is because years ago I decided on changing my outlook on how I saw the world.
Back then, I used to criticize everyone for what they were doing. This would show up in my content on the radio and in turn would receive a form of blowback from people on Facebook.
I soon learned that I was attracting a raucous crowd that wasn't really supportive of anything that I wanted to do online.
Instead, all they wanted to do was just criticize.
So it's important for you to understand the goal of your podcast and what you intend to share with the world. If your podcast is generally positive, you're going to receive generally positive feedback through your Facebook post, Twitter post, blog comments, YouTube comments, and so forth.
However, if you're someone who wants to try and get a rise out of individuals for engagement, you're more than welcome to create this type of content.
I honestly have nothing wrong with someone trying to move the needle by being controversial.
But you have to understand that if you continue to create content that is controversial, you're going to be held underneath a microscope for the remainder of your program.
I have seen this in radio and I have seen it in podcast. Don't feed the trolls.
Let me remind you that the reason you started this entire podcast journey is because you wanted to share your secrets or your humor to the world. This is what determines your style and how others are attracted to you.
However, there will be those who will criticize you for being who you are. This is enough to make you quit.
But I encourage you to not give up and handle the criticism so that it can make you and your podcast a little better.
First, let's define what criticism might be:
Criticism may come in the form of how you execute on one of your particular skills or talents.
There may be the occasion when someone makes a comment on your blog and says something that you may not agree with.
What you have to remember is that their criticism is meant to give you some type of feedback or idea to make your own process a little bit easier or better. I encourage you to welcome criticism if someone has another way they look at a particular issue topic or skill.
You can choose to take that criticism or ignore it. Just remember that you don’t have to please everyone.
When you go and respond to those critical blog comments, follow this general rule:
Turn a skeptical fan into a brand-new raving fan by sharing thoughtful comments that challenge them to think like they have made you think from a different perspective.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't going always going to work but your transparency and communication can turn someone into a new fan.
I always say, “ kill em with kindness.” When you respond to a blog comment that is critical of anything that you are doing, let the commenter know that you will take their comments into consideration and that their feedback helps you develop content that is better quality. You should probably follow up with asking them if they can provide any additional feedback. Then thank them for their time.
There may be the occasion where someone criticizes you for not covering a topic, but you may have already covered the topic in a previous blog post or podcast. Again, I'll tell you to be kind with them and share the previous post that you may have made to help them discover their answer.
It's always a tough pill to swallow when someone criticizes you for doing what you love.
What I want you to remember is that if you are creating a podcast for yourself to inspire or educate others, keep doing what you're doing. Keep developing your own style of podcast and take that criticism with a grain of salt.
Just remember, you're competing against yourself not everyone else.
The people who are going to criticize you are probably doing a lot less than what you're doing. They’re not doing more, just less.
In other words, they clearly have a lot of time on their hands to sit and criticize you for little things. Don't listen to them.
As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I have gotten my fair share of trolls throughout my 18 years of radio. Part of that time I had to deal with what I cultivated at the time while the other part was uncalled for.
In fact, I even get trolls that show up on my YouTube channel just for the sake of being mean.
Just the other day I had some comment that went into my spam folder that said something along the lines of me getting a haircut.
Thankfully that comment went to the spam folder, but I wouldn't publish that comment regardless. It doesn't add to the conversation that I'm trying to create on YouTube.
If I were to take this another step further, there are those people out there who say that I speak either too fast or too slow on my YouTube channel.
Each person has their own taste in what they prefer to consume. So if they don't like what I am creating for them-- a channel FILLED WITH TONS OF FREE CONTENT--then they should go to another channel and learn from those people who speak slower of faster than I do. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if you go elsewhere.
But at the end of the day, I'm not really too concerned whether I talk too fast or too slow. If the pace of my speech is not something they can handle and share constructive feedback, then maybe I would need to work on speaking either slower or faster.
But I'm not terribly concerned about these individuals.
After one of those typical comments, I'll go to their YouTube channel to see what they're doing and find that they only have three subscribers and one video posted.
This all goes back to reminding you that you shouldn't listen to those who are doing much less than you are. At least you have the courage to put yourself on a platform and share your thoughts with the world.
Give yourself some credit.
I personally have a one strike and you're out rule. If you have something extremely negative to say on my channel, I just report you and block you from my channel.
I don't even take the time to comment when then person because it’s a waste of time if I'm trying to appease every troll on my channel.
The people that I want to watching my channel are those who are willing to learn and grow from my 18 years of experience in radio.
Just remember to be kind to those who are giving their opinion in a kind manner.
You can usually tell who these people are. If they give kind feedback, give them a kind response.
There's a really good book that is out there called Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer. I recommend you read that book if you are interested in learning how to manage haters online.
This book takes a unique look at customer service from a business standpoint, but can easily apply to those who are creating content like a podcast.
I'd love to hear your thoughts or stories on the types of criticism or haters you had to deal with on your own podcast or blog.
Leave a comment down below and I promise I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading.
Whether you're feeling inspired to make a podcast like mine or you're just trying to figure out where to start, my FREE PDF GUIDE will show you where to get started in under 15 minutes.
Shannon will share his 20+ years of radio broadcasting knowledge and show you how strategies in radio relate directly to podcast creation and strategy!