Yesterday was the day many craft, food, and lifestyle bloggers saw Martha Stewart fall from her pedestal. It was the day, it seems, that Martha let her fear of competition get the best of her.
Here’s the video that stabbed some bloggers in the heart (and surely made the rest of us cringe).
This open letter to Martha sums up the issue very well. Check it out if you want to know “what the problem is” with what she said.
But you know what was worse than Martha messing up and insulting the very group that helps build her empire? How her social media team replied and how her PR team failed to even show up to last night’s party. So far, this is the only response we’ve seen:
Big hubbub about me not supporting bloggers. Martha Stewart loves most bloggers who are great friends and trusted allies
— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) October 16, 2013
Yes and that was in 3rd person. #Fail
You see, when you’re building a brand (small or gigantic like Martha Stewart’s), you are going to mess up. You will, I promise. But what will set you apart is what you do next.
Here on Thoughtfully Simple, I have decided to write more business-related posts in our new Work It! column which we will officially roll out with our upcoming re-design (stay tuned!). Why? I spend 95% of my day as a Senior Community Manager for an online brand. It’s what I do and love. I want to share with you tips and lessons learned that might help you in building your own brand. Or in this case, what not to do.
Thank you Martha for timing your blunder so well with my new upcoming launch. ;)
So what lessons can we learn from the day Martha dissed us bloggers?
When you mess up, own it.
Big or small, your brand won’t get it right every time. We’re human after all. Just remember that your customers, subscribers and followers are indeed human too. Acknowledge your mistake, apologize and make it right. Move on. It really can be that simple.
Put the right people at the helm.
You’re only as good as your team. The people at the helm of your online presence should be just as passionate as you are about your business. It should keep them up at night. It should be “their baby.” Why? Because they will care about every single word that comes from your brand and they will be sure to “show up” every time.
Competition is good.
It seems Martha lashed out because she feels threatened by bloggers. We are here, creating and inspiring people (and each other!) every day. Why, isn’t that what she is all about? Awesome! Why can’t we all work together? Let us challenge you, Martha to do better the same way you have challenged all of us over the years. Competition is healthy and can only result in all of us growing this amazing talented industry.
Martha’s remarks and the lack of response we are seeing from her social and PR team at the moment is proof that your brand is only as strong as the relationships you build around it. I hope you, my blogging friends, can take my “expert” advice (okay, I just couldn’t resist that) and apply it to how you are building your online brand.
Have any other tips or lessons learned? Please share with me in the comments. I bet there is so much we can learn from Martha’s blunder.