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  • Glenda Beagle

Avoiding the Avoidable

Remember when the saying was always all publicity is good publicity. Well that was true… until social media came in. In today’s society we are filled with a world of internet trolls and people who have incredible keyboard courage with no regard for the consequence of their tirades. For decades we did business with customers face to face, and if they weren’t happy they would demand to see the manager or they would call your receptionist and tear them a new one. In todays’ world, if they aren’t happy with the way they felt when they woke up and somehow can blame you, they will take to social media and start shredding your business. So how do you avoid the avoidable?

Deliver on the Promises You’re Making

When people encounter your marketing, they immediately develop an image in their mind of what that will look like. It creates expectations. It’s your job to meet or exceed those expectations. If you promise that you’re going to create a shopping experience that caters to their every need, yet when they walk in, your staff are too busy scrolling on their phone rather than greeting the customer, you’re already behind before you even start. If you use stock photos of an upscale storefront or store display, yet you haven’t painted since the 1900’s then trust me, you’ve lost.

Delivering on the promises of your marketing means that you are delivering on the feelings that they’ve built up in their minds about what shopping in your business is like. It means dressing the part - not just the people, but the building as well. This also applies to your digital presence as well. If you have a great window display, ensuring you have a great digital presence for when they check you out after hours. Not having a digital presence is better than a bad presence.

Your digital presence needs to reflect the same look and feel as your physical space and product or service. It all comes down to knowing your ideal customer completely. Knowing what colors, stories, fonts and graphics that will attract them.

Clear Concise Content

Creating content through the stories or visuals that touch on the pain points that appeal to your ideal customer allows you to attract the people who are best suited to your store. When you aren’t clear on the message that you are trying to convey, you will repel all audiences. As they saying goes, when you try to sell to everyone you sell to no one. I don’t know about you but when I’m in public and people ramble on, talking in circles and not actually getting anywhere drives me crazy. The same feelings occur when I read a book that promised me one thing and never actually answered the questions that I had. When your marketing is confusing it turns people off right from the start. They don’t know what to expect, and when they don’t know something it leaves room for them to create their own story. You always want to be in full control of the story being told.

Haters gonna hate

As Taylor Swift says, Haters are gonna hate, hate, hate. You can do all that you can to try to reduce the amount of nasty headed your way, but the reality is, the brighter your star shines, the more haters you’re going to attract.

The difference between a legitimate hater and a troll hater is the line of defense that will surround you. When you are consistently delivering or exceeding people's expectations you’re going to build a natural shield of raving fans. Those fans are going to defend you to the death. They will shut down a troll so that you don’t even have to. Focus on knowing who your ideal customer is, so that they can become your raving fans.

If you fail to create the shield of raving fans, then the trolls will take you down. The power in others jumping to your defense creates a more authentic rebuttal than you disputing their claims. That being said whenever possible, it’s always good to acknowledge the negative, and if there is even an ounce of truth in what they are saying - process it, acknowledge it and thank them for the feedback possibly even with something concrete that you can adjust going forward.

At the end of the day, you need to keep in mind that it isn’t actually you that they are tearing apart. It’s the missing gap between what they expected and what they experienced. If you take it personal, it will cripple you. And if it helps - you aren’t putting yourself out there enough until the haters start to show up. If you only ever stay in the comfort zone of what you’ve done so that you can avoid the haters, you aren’t going to grow, so when they show up celebrate your growth and then bless and release.

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