When you’re hit with negative reviews online, make like this Brazilian soccer player.
Opposing fans made a racist gesture and threw a banana at Daniel Alves’s feet. A few things other players have done in similar situations:
- leave the field in protest (not good)
- give the item to the referee (okay)
- shout at the crowd (worst)
Instead, Alves picked up the banana, peeled it and ate it before returning to his duties on the field. Perfect response! With that gesture he said, “Call me what you want. I actually was kind of hungry. Thanks!” or “I could not care less you just called me a primordial being.”
You can do the exact same thing when attacked online by your competitors, fan-emies (fan/enemies), and trolls.
The good news: You have several options. Here are a few and the pros and cons of each one:
Option A: Stay on the field.
Instead of taking your great information and going home, stick around and play things out until they turn in your favor.
Pro: You’re keeping your chin up.
Con: The psycho could try to hit you in your extended chin by coming at you again with negative comments.
Option B: Report the person / people to the Internet “authorities.”
Pro: This gives you a moral victory.
Con: It doesn’t add momentum to your brand-building efforts.
Option C: Go toe-to-toe with the online bullies.
This means responding directly to the allegations or negativity.
Pro: It feels good to tell them off.
Con: We know this can backfire, though. I, for one, am not the best at arguing in a civil manner. I wouldn’t want my Philly to come out in front of potential and existing clients.
Option D: Eat the banana.
Pro: There’s no comeback for this one. You shut up the critics immediately.
Con: It takes quick thinking, a razor-sharp wit, and a keen knowledge of how to write and how to write well.
A note about those “cons.” I know you have the first two, quick thinking and raz0r-sharp wit. You may not have those crazy writing skills, though. Few people do. That’s where a good writer comes in. You may want to have one on-call for those times when online critics are picking on or picking at you. Think of a good writer as your bodyguard on the school yard.
“Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, then it’s not the end.” – Memoirist Tracy McMillan
Your 2-Point Strategy
1. Anticipate possible snubs or negative reactions. Have a contingency plan in place right away. Take a bit of time to come up with a witty retort.
2. Win. There’s nothing that shuts up critics better than achieving your goals in a big way. Publish that book. Land that TV interview. Ace that speaking engagement. Master your 30-second commercial. Insert your perfect win here __________ .
This story has quite a beautiful ending. When the incident took place the game was tied 2-2. Alves’s team ended up winning the game 3-2. Pretty cool, no?