You May Not Like Me, But You Won’t Forget Me

by Marcus Sheridan

I was reading an excellent post from Mitch Joel yesterday where he made a statement that put me in deep thought:

The goal of appeasing everyone is a testament to how quickly it will fail.

Darn straight Mitch Joel, darn straight.

When it comes down to it, few businesses are great when to comes to creating memorable content and brands. They want to be liked by all, and it kills them, crushing any chance to stand out in a dense crowd of noise-makers.

That’s what I love about the unapologetics of the world–they know who the heck they are but also who the heck they don’t want to be.

It’s also why I read folks like Chris Brogan, Danny Brown, and Ryan Hanley.

At times I disagree with these guys. Then there are times when I feel like shouting, “YES!” to their words.

Such is the product of the unapologetic. Like Mitch Joel stated in his article, they abhor apathy.

Personal Growth

Over the last few months the number of speaking engagements that have come my way has been truly profound. I don’t say this to brag, but rather to make a point.

When I speak, my goal is the antithesis of apathy. In fact, I force participation. The audience isn’t given the choice.

So, as you might imagine, some folks love it, others hate it, and there is nothing “forgettable” about it.

But my speaking style is me. It’s who I am through and through and it’s also the reason I’ve been so blessed with new opportunities.

Below is my 16 minute presentation at Social Slam (put on by Mark Schaefer) this past year. Of all the speaking opportunities I’ve had, this was one of the most enjoyable, as you’ll easily understand why if you watch the video and see how the speaker-audience relationship comes to life.

But I show this video here for two reasons:

1. It’s a great discussion on how content marketing and blogging are used as a sales tool.

2. It’s the anti-apathy.

So give it a watch if you will. Yes, it’s a little longer, but it will be fun, I promise. And I’d also ask you to consider this question:

Do you, as a business owner, marketer, or blogger try to make everyone love you? Are you afraid to turn anyone off?

If so, why?

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Note*** On a side note, I’m doing a combined webinar with Amy Porterfield this coming Tuesday, August 7th at 4pm eastern. The main reason I’m putting this on is because after a recent experiment in which I attempted to use Facebook advertising with my pool company cost me a bunch of money without getting any results, I knew it was time to address the problem. Considering Amy is one of the premier voices in all of social media when it comes to Facebook, I knew she’d be great to discuss it. The webinar is FREE and if you’re interested in using Facebook Advertising for your business, I’d strongly recommend it. Click here to sign up.


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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Hull August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

In the company I just sold, it took us a long time to realize a maxim that we adopted and used to accelerate our growth:

If you’re everything to everyone, you are nothing to anyone.

Plus, you don’t want everyone as a customer, because you can’t answer everyone’s questions and solve everyone’s problems. You only want customers who represent those whom you can truly help.


Marcus Sheridan August 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Amen to that Jason, sounds like you’ve really got it together my friend.Love the maxim btw!




Jim F. Kukral August 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Yep. From my book from the interview with Mathew Lesko. Two quotes:

1. Nobody remembers the middle!

2. If you’re not pissing somebody off, you’re not doing it right.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Askkkkk Lescooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good stuff Jim ;-)


Marc Zazeela August 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm


I think Lincoln said it best when he said “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.



Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

And Lincoln was one of the greatest ever,wasn’t he Marc? I truly love that man.

Thanks for jumping in,



Geoff Livingston August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Totally agree. It’s one of the reasons why I avoid cliques like the black plague. They quickly become you don’t think like us groups, and kill your individuality.

You can only be yourself. I think individuality should be celebrated in social media and online, not ignored.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Not to blow smoke up your tail Geoff, but you’re clearly one of the most individual folks online that I read. It’s funny too, because you and I have differed on opinions so many times before, but you write from a place of such fierce sincerity that it always draws me to read what your thinking.

Well done sir.



Geoff Livingston August 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thank you, sir. What’s most important is that we walk away respecting each other, smiling. I hope you know this matters most to me, not agreeing or disagreeing.


Mustafa Khundmiri August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Marcus, as a blogger, I feel I am responsible for what I say. Or how I say it.

Yes, there are times I get ‘influenced’, but ultimately it is my say. It’s my belief. It’s my way. Whether I am right or wrong depends on your own perception. I can’t force you to like me or agree with me.

The least I can do is get you to sit up and take notice. And that’s what I feel is the most important. I don’t really expect to make everybody happy. If I did, I wouldn’t be honest to myself. I’d be a hypocrite. And hypocrite I am not.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

And a hypocrite you are not….darn straight my man.

Love it Mustafa…that passion you’ve got rocks bud.



Ryan Hanley August 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Filed under “Things I never expected to see” is my name next to Chris Brogan and Danny Brown… Thanks for the love brother.

That being said. I firmly believe as I know you do as well as Danny and Chris that no one can be everything to everyone.

Truly we can’t be more than one or two things to some people…

I feel like that realization is a big step for a blogger, a business, just being a human being.

Understanding that you are you and that you are going to attract a certain group of people that are attracted to YOU is a huge step towards success.

Take your presentation style. How big of a fail would it be if someone who was Shy or Insecure or didn’t have your Charisma tried to duplicate your style?

It would be an Epic Fail.

You’re a crazy son-of-a-bitch in the best kind of way and that’s what makes your content pop.

Your presentation wouldn’t have the power it does if you tried to do it behind a podium to fit a Stuffy Setting… Just wouldn’t work. That’s not you and if behind a podium is what a venue requires than maybe that audience isn’t Yours.

Whatever small success I’ve had as a content creator… It’s this singular concept that sits a top the reasons I achieved it.

Thanks again brother… Someday I’m going to catch your work in person.

All the best.



Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Get used to seeing your name next to really smart people because you belong with them my man. And over time, your talent will show that.

And thanks so much for all the kind words my man. It’s always appreciated.

Thanks for your tremendous support,



Davina K. Brewer August 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Dude I remember all the tweets during your SoSlam presentation: you rocked that room and were compared – quite favorably I might add – to everything from the 2nd coming of Billy Mays to a double-caf tres venti cappuccino. ;-) It’s because you’re you; no apologies, no affections – just Marcus. It’s not so often but when I speak I absolutely try to force audience participation; they came for a reason, and I want to make darn sure they walk away getting something.

As to apathy and likability and appeasement: whatever. Of course we want ‘fans’ and want to be ‘liked’ – helps w/ success; as does not always being popular but right, as does sticking to your guns, as does just doing good work. May not appeal to everyone equally, may turn off a few – but it’s those key few you really turn on that make the difference. (Yes, leaving that door wide open wink wink.) I’ve got a post (sigh, so many) drafted – a rant that despite any quests to liked or popular, keeping my own agency. Like Mustafa, anyone – my beliefs are mine. So much goes into the making of me – a never-ending work in progress – I may not always express it well, but you can’t take it away. FWIW.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

You’re incredibly kind to say those things D’….thank you! :-)

And I certainly think your style is VERY ‘you’…and it’s a dang good one.

Thanks so much for all your support,



Jon Loomer August 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Oh, man… That video was AWESOME! You make it look so easy, and I come away a lot less worried about public speaking (though I’m still not all that confident!).

You have a voice that’s all your own. What’s funny is that since I’ve watched other videos of yours, I now hear your voice when I read your stuff. I guess that’s somewhat creepy, but my point is that you write like you talk — that’s money!

Amy Porterfield is good people. I’m convinced and will sign up for that webinar.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Jon, you’re way too kind to me bud, but I certainly appreciate it and absolutely expect to see you roaming the stage as well before too long! ;-)

Keep pushing my man,



Leo Dimilo August 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

“it’s hard to sell when all you do is teaching” So true.

There are few things that can hold my attention these days for 16 minutes but man, Marcus, you sold it. Very entertaining, man.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Honored Loe!! Thank you :-)



John Falchetto August 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Yep speak your mind and let the lovers hate and haters hate.

When I speak to clients they always focus on ‘oh! if I say this people might think badly of me’
Yes some people, but this is important, others will LOVE it.

Recent example that comes to mind in the US is the CEO of ChickenFila.
Agree or disagree with the man, he did the right think for his business by speaking his mind and taking a position.

When was the last time people came out in mass to support a fast-food chain?

Now if other business ‘leaders’ could take a position instead of being so wishy washy that might just get the economy back on track.


Marcus Sheridan August 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Amen to that Falchetto!Whether it’s Chic fil or Ben and Jerry’s on the opposite end of the same issue, both have the stones to say where they are on the matter. Seriously, how many people across the world learned who CFA was over the past few weeks? Their brand has exploded, and when all is said and done, they’ll grow here because they have a foundation.

I respect any business that does that, no matter what their beliefs are.

Appreciate you Falchetto,



Matthew Stock August 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Marcus, you’re whack. Wiggity-wiggity whack. But that’s what why we get along so well. And why I brought you out here! Even though I’ve seen your show before, I can watch it again…and again…and still be entertained.

It’s funny as I’ve been writing blogs for my new Inbound Marketing company people are asking why I’m throwing around so much ‘tude (much more than I do with my basement waterproofing blog). As an example, I’ve said repeatedly “don’t pass me off to your IT guy”. Why? Well that’s the beauty of inbound marketing. I get to decide who I do business with. Not the other way around. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work ;)


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Actually, I think you’ve just got ‘tude because you’ve got ‘tude Matt Stock ;-)

Seriously though man, you’re rocking it and creating something special.Can’t wait to see you single-handedly elevate Chicago’s economy with inbound marketing in the coming years. ;-)



Rebecca Livermore August 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

The only time this is a challenge for me is when it’s people I love and respect. Random people I don’t know? Not a problem. People I’ve invested my heart with? That’s where I get into trouble sometimes.


Ryan Aspy August 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Here’s an example that might not fit perfectly, but I think it’s still illustrative, and it popped to mind so I’m going with it. For all the basketball fans out there (rhetorical question) – Who was a better player: Horace Grant or Dennis Rodman? If you look solely at the stats Grant was a much better player overall. However, if you would ask 10 random basketball fans which one was better I bet at least half would have a hard time remembering who Horace Grant was. How many of them do you think would have a hard time remembering Rodman? My guess – none of them (regardless of whether they liked him or not).


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

You know, that was a pretty darn good analogy for a non-athlete ;-)

Great points buddy, and being “memorable” is why the guy is in the HOF.

talk soon,



Diana Baur August 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

Yep, you are who you are and using your strongest attributes to build your business concept is just good sense. You being you is the greatest lesson you can give others. You’re special.

Plus, you be funny. Humor and energy help immensely. You could talk about this junk, for, like hours, It’s overwhelming. It makes me want to sell fiberglass pools. Which is scary since I really don’t know what they are.

I’ve been standing on the edge of something for a very long time. Now I know what it is I want to be and what it is I want to sell. I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for 9 years, have (together with my husband) transformed my small business into something beautiful, and now want to grow something new and completely different.

I’ve been following you as a mentor and a friend for over a year, and with your ( and a few other choice people’s) help I know where I want to go now.

I’ve watched you grow. I’ve watched you take risks and utilize your own personal attributes, maximizing them to create something huge for yourself. It’s very inspiring and now I want to do the same for myself, in my sphere of knowledge. It’s scary to be at the beginning again, looking up at the mountain, but I’m ready to climb.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Boy did this make me smile Diana :) Seriously, I just think you’re amazing and now that you’re getting ready to fully tap into those “other” talents of yours thrills me to no end.

And btw, I should be responding to your other email soon! ;-)

SOOOOOOO happy for you,



Kelly Lester of EasyLunchboxes August 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’m stalking you now Marcus. And I mean that in the most non-creepy way. I heard you first on BlogcastFM and became an instant fan. This video is sensational and I’m off to watch and listen to every other thing you’ve posted. What a gift you are. Thank you.


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Hahaha, you’re too sweet Kelly! Thank you :-)

Well I’m thrilled we’ve now become acquainted Kelly and hope we chat more soon.




Kelly Lester of EasyLunchboxes August 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I’ll look forward to that Marcus :)


Don Stanley August 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

All due respect to the other awesome speakers at Social Slam, your presentation was the highlight for me. Super stoked about seeing you at GoToExplore in 2 weeks. I absolutely love and appreciate the #30 lesson. If you are teaching during a call, you can’t sell. So use inbound to start the teaching and educating BEFORE the “sales” call. Then, use the face-to-face to close the sale. Simple and brilliant. Reminds me of a quote my man Leonardo (Mr. Da Vinci to others) said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. And you, sir are one sophisticated dude ;-)


Craig McBreen August 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm


I simply think you rock. Why?

Because you have infectious enthusiasm and you’re never afraid to speak your mind. You absolutely love what you do and you have a mission. Plus you know how to amp-up a room.

And best of all: You are not afraid to stir the pot, but you don’t get bogged down and harp on negativity, which seems to be an epidemic in the blogosphere.

You stick to mission, don’t waiver and speak your mind.

I often write about Killer Swag. Well, you got it, son ;)

Danny Brown is one of the first people I read (before I even started blogging) and I still love his stuff. One of the best guys out there.

Ryan Hanley is a young guy who is doing everything right and one of my favorite new bloggers.

Okay, enough of my toady behavior, but I’m just being honest. That’s all.

I say, just write what you feel and don’t filter too much. Don’t be cruel, just write from the heart and let ‘er rip!

Have a good day, Sir :)


Marcus Sheridan August 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

One of the kindest and most meaningful comments I’ve read here in a while Craig. Simply can’t thank you enough brother, seriously.

And don’t worry, I’ll keep my swag going my friend!!



Scott Harvey August 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I’ve got a bit of a man crush after watching that video…just don’t tell my wife! Seriously, when you are so on your game, and say great things and say them in such a compelling way, that’s very cool.

I’ve done reasonably well over the years because I work super hard, but I’ve been a people-pleaser to a fault. Tired of it and finally been re-working our entire business model and sales process over the past 6 months or so – and then I find The Sales Lion.

Things have already been improving significantly lately, but I know we’ll take a quantum leap forward the more I listen to you.

Another faithful follower born today – thank you sincerely!



Amber Avines August 4, 2012 at 12:27 am

Love the video, Marcus! Reminds me of the first time I saw you speak. You’re magic, my friend. :-)

Amber @wordsdonewrite


Lana Waller August 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

Love it! Wish you could have talked for more than the 20 minutes. Looking forward to the webinar on the 7th.


Sheyi | August 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

Marcus …. mama used to say….

I enjoyed this video and now, I careless how many people like me for real. i am me and will always be me.

In the spirit of giving out great contents,


Marcus Sheridan August 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Thanks Sheyi, so glad you liked it!


Jeevan Jacob John August 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Yes, I have tried to make everyone happy (I still do to an extent, take for instance: I say my opinion in a blog post. And in the next sentence, I most likely mention “it depends”).

Big mistakes? Is it?

Yeah, I realize I can’t please everyone. I shouldn’t try to. It isn’t a viable model. For a business or a blog to be successful, they have to take a stand – the problem with me is that I take a stand and I add “it depends” next to it.

Is that alright, Marcus? What do you think? Or does it depend on the topic of discussion?

Watched a bit of video (the video got stuck), loved! Especially, loved your style and your confidence (I always get nervous when I speak to bloggers or to an audience, even in Google + Plus hangouts).


Marcus Sheridan August 13, 2012 at 1:38 am

I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying “it depends” Jeevan, because I’ve done that a bunch, but always say how you feel, and then admit you may be wrong, but say it and say it with authority.

Good luck!



Reese August 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Even in real life, people tend to flock or gravitate towards and in a way idolize those people who apologetically stand out rather than those who try to please everyone. People can always tell when someone is being him/herself and being sincere and when someone is just trying to suck up to people.


Marcus Sheridan August 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

Yep, that’s exactly right Reese. People with guts and opinions stand out…and win their fans too.




Jens P. Berget August 18, 2012 at 3:31 am

Hey Marcus,

I have just watched your video and wow, you’re a very engaging speaker. I was laughing out loud and learning a lot at the same time, that’s the perfect combination :)

I have a question for you. How did you come up with the number 30? I understand the number, but how did you see it in your stats, and how can I find a similar number for my clients? I am not sure if I even have to have an exact number for my clients in order to make them understand the power of content marketing, but it’s hard to make them realize that they need to produce content and not get results right away.


Marcus Sheridan August 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Couple of answers here bud:

1. You’ve got to have forms on your site people fill out
2. Those forms needed to be embedded with a tracking code(cookie) to enable you to see their search patterns within your site.

Once you have those two things, you can compare the “lookers” and the “buyers”…and it’s an amazing difference between the two.



Nikki Lyclic August 21, 2012 at 4:29 am

Thanks for teaching us. This video really helps me to understand how to be successful in business online.


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