How to handle haters and negative comments
Social media in aesthetic practice
Haters, critics, bullies, trolls, or keyboard warriors – whatever we choose to call them, they are in abundance in society and even more so thanks to social media. Recent high-profile cases where celebrities and sportspeople have been in receipt of hateful or racist comments on social platforms have been condemned in the news media and brought about campaigns such as #bekind.
Aesthetic clinicians are not immune to receiving negative and hurtful comments on their social streams, whether it is about their before and after photos, their stances on trending topics, or their aesthetic practice in general. Haters will always hate, but do not let the fear of hateful or negative remarks stop you from promoting your aesthetic practice online – build your business with an audience who loves you.
In this blog, Dr Tim Pearce will reflect on recent criticism he and his wife Miranda Pearce have experienced via their Aesthetic Mastery Show on You Tube. He discusses how you can constructively manage such negative comments (without letting your emotions get the better of you), when it is the right time to block people and delete their hateful feedback, and how to overcome your fears and still market yourself successfully, despite any negativity. Miranda Pearce also shares her 4 tips for shutting up the haters.
Miranda has launched an amazing online e-learning course on marketing which is specifically designed for aesthetic clinicians – the Dream Customer Attraction Method (DCAM). If you want to learn everything you need to know about using social media to successfully to build your aesthetic business, then check out Miranda’s video introducing DCAM.
Dr Tim will be discussing more medical aesthetic training tips as part of his upcoming webinar series, so if you’re looking to increase your CPD-certified learning and want to learn more skills to make you a better practitioner, then step one is to register for the free webinars by Dr Tim.
How negative comments on social media can affect you and how to deal with them
We are all human, and we all have feelings. Therefore, it is natural that receiving a negative comment, especially a personal attack, will hurt. Social media attracts a broad audience and not everyone will like you, agree with what you have to say, or value what you do. It is important to realise that a certain percentage of the comments you receive as feedback will be from haters and detractors. Remember, you cannot please all the people, all the time.
Social media gives people a level of anonymity that they can hide behind. Many would never say the things they say from behind their smartphone if they were face-to-face with the person they are attacking. The environment of social media can focus the negativity and toxicity of human nature in a given situation, but it does not define all humans, or even a particular person when they leave a negative comment about another individual, it is likely more complex than that – heat of the moment, for example.
Hopefully, the positive comments you receive will outweigh the negatives.
Your first reaction to a negative comment may be to worry that there is some truth to their words and there might be something you need to change. Clearly, any attack about your personal appearance or your race is abhorrent and should be immediately dismissed. You cannot reflect on such hate speech and should not consider changing how you look or being ashamed of your skin colour.
Similarly, when you receive a negative comment, your natural reaction is to defend yourself against the attack. You may imagine that the person who left the comment has power or authority over you but consider changing your mindset and visualising them as a nobody, someone who is just having a bad day – they have no power to hurt you. Their attempt to disempower you is because of their negative headspace and your online content happened to be in the firing line for their resentment. Think of the bigger picture and bask in the positive comments you receive, despite any negative comments grabbing your attention, do not let them dominate your thoughts.
You can take some learning from receiving negative comments. Consider why you feel offended and what they are pointing out that you can learn from, such as improvements to your clinical practice or your content delivery. If there is nothing obvious in their point, then disregard it, but do not immediately disregard all negative comments as they can help you to improve.
Negativity towards aesthetic treatments
When it comes to discussing medical aesthetic treatments, most people have a clear-cut opinion – you either fall into the ‘for’ camp or the ‘against’, and people can be quite forthright with these views, especially in the ‘against’ camp. You may encounter comments such as,
“Her lips look amazing already, I don’t understand why anyone does this to their face.”
As an aesthetic clinician your content presents a challenge to some people. If they are not on the same side of the fence as you then they may challenge you outright and leave derogatory comments. Of course, this may say a lot more about them than it does about you and be a marker for issues they are grappling with in their own life which has caused them to engage with content about cosmetic treatments. Remember, it could also come from the cowardly, yellow-belly or green-eyed monster of jealousy of another aesthetic practitioner.
Handling personal attacks
You may find that people make comments about your voice, tone, or mannerisms when delivering video content. They may express a dislike for the sound of your voice, your regional accent, or repeated use of certain words, for example.
Learn to face that fear, you cannot stop talking to your audience for fear of one person and their dislike of how you come across. Those who want to absorb your content – your tribe, your avatar – will stick around and keep listening, those who do not like your delivery can simply go elsewhere and lose out on your wisdom; they are not you kin or your target market.
You are you, and that what makes you – your regional accent, bubbly personality, dress sense, or dynamic hand gestures can all differentiate you from the crowd and help you to make a name for yourself in aesthetic practice.
When to block and delete a hater
Sometimes you will get comments that are simply rude, hateful, or disparaging, rather than plain negative or constructively critical.
Dr Tim notes that he is an advocate for free speech, so it takes him a long time to block someone or delete their comments. He draws the line when someone’s intention is solely to hurt another individual or perform a character assassination, rather than participate in rational debate. Instead of discussing the issues and exploring differing opinions, they make it personal and resort to ad hominem attacks and defamation of character – then enough is enough. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel and points made in the debate garner insulting responses, such as, “you’re an idiot”, then Dr Tim feels this is an appropriate time to block the offender.
It is worth noting that both YouTube and Facebook now hide comments that contain profanity so you may be accused of deleting an offender’s comments, when in fact, the social media algorithm has done it for you and censored their negativity.
4 steps to shut up the haters
Remember all the other people who are watching the comments stream and consider if you are better off not debating with the negative commentator but focusing on providing valuable responses to your target audience instead. Try this simple retort that is favoured by Miranda Pearce to quieten their noise.
- Kill them with kindness – Thank them for contributing to the debate.
- State your values – Explain why you believe the content they are commenting on is of value to others or your general values around aesthetic treatments.
- Put a boundary down – This is aimed at stopping them from further diatribe, which may or may not work. You may wish to make it clear that your content presents a learning, informative, or educational space for your audience, and then invite them not to make personal attacks in future. This puts the power back with you and your audience, takes the attention away, and diffuses the situation with an implied threat that they will be blocked if they persist with more of the same. Ideally this will be deterrent enough to kerb the behaviour.
- Kill them with kindness once more – Sign off your reply with a polite ‘thank you’ which makes you the bigger person.
Aesthetics Mastery Show
Dr Tim reacts to negative YouTube comments + how you can too!
Dr Tim and Miranda share some of the critical comments they’ve received on this very YouTube channel, and dig into: how we can reply constructively; when is the right time to block/delete; and how to still show up in your marketing despite the hater threat.
Free Marketing Tips for Aesthetic Medical Professionals
To learn more and receive some free marketing tips to get started, aesthetic clinicians are invited to join Miranda’s latest webinar, available at: https://www.mirandapearcemarketing.com/marketing-webinar-registration.
The introductory webinar by the creator of the Dream Customer Attraction Method (DCAM) eLearning course will include free tips on how to effortlessly generate 75 killer content ideas that will lead to bookings, the secret 3-step formula to make social posts that will stop the tumbleweed forever, and the surprising truth about how many followers you really need to make a 6-figure income from aesthetics.
Free aesthetics marketing webinar
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Dr Tim Pearce eLearning
Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.
Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.