As you start to get more noticed in your music career, you'll no doubt start to come across people who are negative about you and your music. That's just the way it is. No matter how good you are, there will always be a percentage of people who don't like what you do and end up being vocal about it.
This negative feedback can be soul destroying to some. You could get 99 people telling you how good your music is, but sometimes that one person who leaves a nasty comment with their disapproval can leave you questioning what it is you're doing. After all, as humans we all want to feel approval. So if someone comes out and blatantly doesn't approve, it can shake us to the core. For some, it could also leave them feeling mildly depressed or on edge.
So how do you deal with negative feedback and haters better? Have a look below for the answers. If it helps, share with others in a similar situation.
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The Difference Between Constructive Criticism And Negative Feedback
Before I go into some tips for dealing with haters, I want to first address the issue of negative feedback vs constructive criticism.
The first, negative feedback, isn't helpful in any way. This is when someone may say “you're rubbish”, “you'll never get anywhere”, or other such statements with some not so nice words thrown in for good measure. These comments are presented in a horrible manner.
This is the kind of feedback you should largely avoid paying attention to, especially if you didn't ask for their opinion. It won't help you. In fact, it'll only hinder you and drain your time focusing on them.
On the other hand, constructive criticism can be a handy thing to have. Characteristics of constructive criticism are:
- They're given to you in a positive manner, even if they mention things which they don't feel are your best qualities.
- They're genuinely helpful comments with solutions / suggested changes alongside the things which they don't like.
- They're not made publicly available for all to see. Instead they might be emailed to you or mentioned to you in a one on one situation. This avoids embarrassment for you and shows respect on their part.
When the above three criteria are met, constructive criticism can be very helpful! It's not every day that someone will analyze you and give you genuine feedback, so thank the person when they do. It might hurt to hear their comments at first, but if you do listen to them and take them on board, you might just realize that they're right. And maybe some of their suggestions might make you a better musician.
On the other hand, you might feel like you disagree with their comments after you've looked into it, but at least you've got another opinion.
So, rude negative feedback = bad. Constructive criticism = good. Now that we know we're focusing on the bad for the rest of this guide, let's move forward.
Should You Delete Negative Comments on Your Social Sites And Website?
While social networking has been a great way for musicians to connect with their fans, there's also the flip side: people leaving horrible comments on your social pages.
Now, there are three main ways musicians usually deal with this:
- Reply to that comment, either defending yourself or arguing with that person.
- Ignoring it but leaving the comment there.
- Deleting that comment from your social profile.
So, which one should you do? Easy:
The third; delete it from your social profile!
The simple reason for this is that it's your social profile. It's a place for you and your fans to hang out. Not only are those hateful comments annoying for you to read, your fans won't want to read them either. They go there to talk about you and see what's the latest in your world, they don't want to see people being disrespectful to you.
I know that some people out there are hesitant to delete these sort of comments. This is usually out of the fear that you'll be seen as “covering something up” and not letting others voice their opinion. But this isn't the case at all! You deleting hateful and negative feedback is not only making a better environment for your target audience (which those haters aren't part of, you're not making music for them), but it's also helping you maintain your brand.
Do you think if Coco Cola was getting people talking rubbish on their site they'd just leave it up there? No, they'd delete it, as they're all about providing a positive experience for their fans.
So if people are leaving nasty comments on your social sites or website, delete these comments, block the commenters from posting again and move on.
Don't Let Haters Influence Yours Music Career
The above point goes further in terms of people hating on you outside of social sites. One important thing for you is to not let these people have an influence over how you run your music career.
It's too easy to listen to these people and change accordingly. For example, if someone's being horrible about the way you sing certain parts of your song, it'll be the first instinct of some to stop singing like that, or at least be self conscious whenever they do.
But if that comment has come from someone who's being totally unconstructive, why listen to them? Especially if you've had your core set of fans already telling you they like that about you. Are you really going to let people who aren't in your target audience tell you how to perform to your target audience?
You could be the best singer in the world, but there will always be someone who doesn't like the way you sing. Their views should be tuned out so you can focus on your core audience; the people who enjoy your music.
Haters is something that all talented musicians who are getting themselves out there will have to face at some point. The important thing is to not let them get you down, and not rise to their level. Don't argue with or address them, and instead stay focused on giving good quality material and experiences to your and your fans.
So, have you ever had people being negative about you in a nonconstructive way? What did you do? And do you have any additional tips for dealing with these types of situations? Let us know in the comments.