Go and look at the Twitter of any drag queen. It’s filled with a trove of nasty comments. The moment you start building an audience, you’ll start seeing the same problem. Not even from trolls, from drag supporters!
They’ll compare you to other girls, or they’ll start picking apart your abilities as a performer. It’s horrible!
But, I have some real tips to help kill this pervasive issue that’s turned our community toxic.
If you’re starting to get these comments, these are tips you can’t miss!
Congratulate good behaviour on your social media
On my local scene, queens like Mutha Tucka see much less negativity from their fans. Why? Because they’re making such a good example about good behaviour.
If you’ve been positive to her, she will share her experience with you on her Instagram Story. She may do it for different reasons, but the fact is- if you’re nice to her, she’ll be nice to you!
By being genuine and friendly, she’s in a position to be supportive in a way so many other queens aren’t able to. She shares various other queens from Newcastle with heartfelt messages. You can tell it’s genuine- she’s taken the time to build up that standing for herself!
A big part of this is that you’ve got to be the same in real life as you act online. If you’re all goody two shoes online but you’re wretched offline, you’ll never be able to build the positivity you want. You can only account for your own actions, not others! I’ve been lucky to never have any negative interactions with anyone whilst in drag. You can avoid it too by staying wholesome and avoiding any fools who seek to annoy you.
Everyone can have a bad day! We shouldn’t be out to judge each other’s actions. Let’s be supportive and above reproach when people are bringing us down!
If you’re looking to use the same methods, I recommend the following approach:
- Start with the captions underneath posts with you and other girls. When you tag someone, write a quick note about something you appreciate about their drag.
- If you’re in the same photo as them, make sure you leave a comment over on their end saying how lovely it was to work with them! You want your positivity to be a real part of you, not some throwaway nicety on your own social media.
- Do the same with everyone you tag. A good approach to take with someone who tagged you in a picture is to thank them for being nice!
- Once you’re more established, use your presence to support other performers you enjoy.
You’ve got to accentuate the positive!
Listen, people will tear you down at a moments notice if they’re interested in doing so. However, you can fight against that!
When people are out spreading lies, your posts can have hard evidence to the contrary!
It won’t stop the trolls, but it will help less folks avoid the lies.
Let’s say someone is saying that you hate another performer. I’d recommend going to that other performer and working together to show that all is well!
This evidence can be in the form of:
- Receipts (messages or written text that confirms that you are correct)
- Recent images that disprove that there’s been an issue
- Testimonials by people you know
By far, the best one to have is receipts. Timestamped pictures of text are very hard to disprove and are easy to spread through your fans. They’ll help you get out of trouble the quickest since you don’t need to do anything else.
The images can be a real positive as long as there isn’t actually a problem. It gives any affected parties a place to talk about it in the comments and can help you create receipts. Even if it doesn’t, it does help sway public opinion!
Likewise with testimonials. Testimonials are public opinion, and these are your last resort to disproving trolls. They’re not very effective because the trolls can discredit them if they find it in their interest to.
If you can’t disprove, prove you’re ok!
Let your performances talk for themselves and up how much you post whilst this is going on.
The last thing you want to do is go radio silent! It’s the same as confirming the nasty rumours people are spreading about you. They’ll take your silence as proof and that’s the last thing you want!
This is why I keep a bank of things to post for whenever I’m going to be away for a short while. You can auto schedule it using tools like Buffer or Edgar, if you’re willing to spend some money to do it!
It’s all about having that control of when you want to post. I may write and post 5 or so articles at a time, but I’ll be posting about those articles over a period of weeks.
You can do the same with events you’ve attended in drag! You can share it all over your story on the day, and then post later on!
A lot of drag content, such as drag practice, has no advantage to posting at a certain time. That makes it useful to keep a heavy backlog of those types of posts to intersperse when it’s most useful for you.
Remove walls between you and your fans
This is one you see all the time, especially once a girl hits a major TV show like Dragula or RuPaul’s Drag Race. Suddenly, pervasive words will start spreading before they even make their TV debut!
I’d like you to think about Blair St Clair for a second. Blair got arrested for a DUI before appearing on the show, and the news spread like a wildfire! She was in TMZ and a variety of other publications and it ruined her image before the show.
Instead of building a fortress around herself, she chose to be honest. She did real work to help spread awareness about drink driving. This flipped the script on the negative folks who sent her hate messages. If she was willing to be open and accept the past, then she must have been a good person!
Go look at her replies and comments now, it’s hardly ever mentioned! I remember when it was all over online forums such as the RuPaul’s Drag Race subreddit. It’s insane to think that you can get rid of such stigma by getting rid of your defenses, but it’s true!
Be open about your interactions with fans and be willing to answer any questions up front. It will keep your brand genuine and it will give your fans a positive interaction they’ll appreciate.
The last thing that you want for your brand is to be associated with is what you’ve done in the past. It’s about having that respect, not only to your audience, but to yourself. As a performer, what you put out there is your personality. When you’re not genuine with what you’re putting out there, what you sweep under the rug builds up. Soon enough, you’ll be able to see what you swept away, rug or no rug!
What else can you do?
There’s a lot of ways to improve your online presence. Honestly, more than a short blog post could ever provide! That’s why I’m inviting you to experiment.
I’ve found that there’s 3 key things you have to have in any strategy which is going to help you out:
- Remove the hate
Build your own strategy around these principles. If you do, you can create a positive community! In fact, this is the same strategy that massive businesses use to guide their social media:
- Look at any business-to-business company. They’ll congratulate their biggest customers on their homepage. Here’s Buffer’s list!
- Then, go and look at any corporation which has had a few corporate scandals. Look how Nestlé accentuates good news by featuring it on the home page!
- Want a good example of a company trying to play the honesty game? Check out this advert Facebook ran into the UK after the Cambridge Analytica scandal to remove the hate.
If these massive businesses are doing it to an audience of millions, you can do it to your audience too. Join my mailing list and you can learn more about building an online presence in my weekly newsletter! As a bonus, you’ll get my free marketing guide that includes over 111+ tips!
Got any other great methods to build a great online presence? Join me down in the comments section and let me know!