Well, maybe not only criticism, but reviews and feedback of your work. We can pat ourselves on our backs all we want, but as personal brands, it is only when we engage in both positive and negative discussions that we truly have an audience with value.
The knowledge we receive from criticism
With knowledge of personal, performance, or subject critiques, one is given a power of sorts. Three things can happen – You are able to change the persons mind, given a platform to reaffirm your actions or beliefs, or learn something new to better yourself.
I’m talking about
Companies that go on review sites to respond to with good reviews and help right the wrongs of the bad.
The athlete that quotes a negative comment and then replies something positive back to the fan.
The controversial author that welcomes public discussions on his/her book, and offers compelling arguments to support his/her point.
The critical dialogue
Companies have picked up on the benefits of engaging in critical dialogue. With so much visible feedback today online, one of the best things companies can do, once it is out there, is to acknowledge and answer. Zappos, known for their attention to their audience, responds to reviews on different review sites. Smaller corporations, such as the Viceroy Palm Springs, also see the benefits by responding to positive and negative customer feedback on yelp.com. Doing so increases the percentage of customer interaction and retention, and we all know it is easier to retain a customer/fan than it is to find new ones.
For people, it is all about engaging with your audience and showcasing respect and attention their opinions. Remember…when people review, it means they are reading, participating or listening. This in turn causes others to read, review or participate themselves. It’s a domino effect in your favor because it means more eyes on your brand, with you at the center controlling the outcome.
So open yourself up for critique. Look at where you can involve your audience to help you improve, or open the door for debate on your topic. It could be as simple as a comment section on your blog posts, a feedback session at the end of a speaking engagement, or requesting overall thoughts within the social media world.
As a start to the process, I would love for you to share your stories with me about where opening yourself for critique or reviews have improved your personal brand!
Katie Marston is President and Executive Director of DYME Branding , a personal brand development company focusing on professional athletes, celebrities, and executives. Follow her on Twitter at @ktmarston