Friday, March 6, 2009

A few words of caution...(online) TANTRUMS

Today's blog post was provoked by observations I had made over the past year in several areas of online selling and communities.
I am talking about tantrums...fits, complaints, personal outbursts, clique rants...
If you depend on the internet in any way on selling, client work or customer service I would advice to NOT throw any kind of tantrum. Especially if they can be tracked back to your business/professional persona.
Internet savvy people can find anything and everything you have ever posted.

One of the worst offenses seem to me the badmouthing of customers or clients.
Now we all know that some people can be very difficult to deal with, or we may even get scammed. But, here is where you just should use caution and try to resolve these problems in private.
There is nothing more petty then internet wars or drama.
"She has copied me", "this buyer ripped me off", "what a pain in the butt to work with"...if you get known for talking this way about any customers or business partners you are committing business suicide.

Whenever I read postings of this manner, regardless whether in community forums, twitter or even in private settings of online groups, my desire to deal with their business dies. I could be next on their list of customers who they will slam if I dare to "be difficult".
Same goes for condescending remarks about other artists' work or skills. It's just bad taste.

We all encounter bad experiences somewhere along the line of working with people or organizations, venues and groups.
"Don't burn bridges" is a guideline which has served me well during my life's journey.
In selling terms this can translate into not hastily closing accounts because of one little incident. Personal differences or just perceived "unfairness". Leave your back door open to return to selling venues, because you never know what life will present you with.
You may feel good about telling a company "go to hell", but we should think really hard before swearing and throwing the kitchen sink at them. Sometimes we just have to leave our personal feelings out of business matters.
Some examples (hypothetical and in context with selling handmade products):
A promising new selling venue may turn into a greedy corp once it has gotten successful. If you don't have plan b or c, it may hurt to leave established websites with no option to return. Even though you may praise (as examples only) artfire now, maybe one day you'll need Etsy or Ebay again. If you have closed doors forever by insulting the company or calling them names there won't be any turning back.
And if you are an employee you will already know that throwing cyber mud at your employer and boss isn't the smartest thing to do.

If you get bothered and need a breather, just turn of that pc and go outside. Walk it off, shout it out, but don't get tempted to air dirty laundry on the web.

Happy Friday!

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