When I’m creating something I’ll catch my brain thinking thoughts like, “If try hard enough, I can make everyone love this!” or, “If I did X, Y, and Z no one could possibly dislike this!”
Wrong. Bad brain!
Have you had these thoughts, too? If you catch these sentiments emerging you have to stop and remind yourself why you’re making what you’re making, and more importantly who you’re creating it for. You’re making things for your target audience, not the entire world.
Some people aren’t going to like what you make, and that’s okay. There will always be haters, trolls, and a whole host of other people that have negative thoughts and opinions. If those people are part of your target audience then you need to listen to them. If they’re not part of your target audience you need to actively ignore them. They’re not who you’re making things for, and their input will rarely (if ever) have any kind of positive effect on you or the work you’re doing. You have a responsibility to yourself and to the work you’re doing to actively shut them out.
The more you try to please people outside your target audience the more diluted your work becomes. Would you rather create something that your target audience feels great about, or something that most people feel neutral or okay about? As you try to increase the appeal of your work to encompass more people the more generic and watered-down it gets. On the other hand, the more you focus on specific people, the more you can speak directly to them, forge a deeper connection, and give them the best experience possible.