Today, My Friends, I Sincerely Ask For Your Help

by Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan TED Photo

Over the past 44 months here at The Sales Lion, much of my work has been dedicated to sharing everything business and life has taught me up to this point. Without question, it has been an amazing ride. There have been many changes. I’ve truly done my best to offer value and build a community. But today, for the first time, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit and seeking the help of this incredibly important community.

You see, two weeks ago I stood on a stage in Alexandria Virginia to give the most important talk of my life. As some of you may already know, the event was TEDx Rock Creek Park, and I was given 12 minutes and one-shot at sharing with the world a subject that has been brewing within my being for just over a year now– The Honest Economy.

Truth be told, the following TED talk almost never happened. The event’s amazing organizer, Alison Whitmire, had asked me to try out for TED months ago– but there was one caveat to her request–she didn’t want it to be about “content marketing.” Nope, it had to be more universal and far-reaching than the usual suspects here at TSL.

Considering Alison is responsible for bringing Simon Sinek to TED, I knew she was right. In fact, she told me something I’ll never forget:

“Marcus, I need you to give the talk NOW that you’ll be giving in 5 years.”

It was one of the most profound and thoughtful statements anyone has ever told me. And it also challenged me to the core.

So much did it challenge me that I, at one point, asked out of the event. Frankly, I couldn’t “see” the talk in my head– something I’ve never had a problem with– but this time it seemed to be gnawing at me day in and day out. After  essentially giving up and telling Alison I simply couldn’t come up with a message that fit her expectations, she kindly rejected my petition and told me we simply had to talk it out even more.

Finally, after multiple conversations and pensive moments, I could see the talk in my head. I saw each story unfold. And I believed I had something that could truly resonate with anyone.

After hours and hours of practice in front of a mirror and envisioning each and every element of the talk, the moment came. Please take a few minutes to see the final results:

For a few years now, it has been my dream to be a part of TED. The thing about this is, most TEDx talks never actually make it to TED.com. In fact, less than 2% of all talks make it to the incredibly popular site– which bases the talks it chooses on two main criteria:

1. The quality of the message

2. Whether or not the message seems to resonate with others.

It is for this exact reason that I need your help.  It is my sincere hope that, if the video touches you in any way, that you’ll share it with your communities, be it Facebook, Twitter, G+, a blog– whatever. Every little bit matters, so please know that even though I may not be able to tell you directly, I’m deeply grateful for all your support.

The easiest way to do this is by simply going to the YouTube link, hitting “share,” and then selecting where you’d like to share it. Also, here is a direct link to it on YouTube

Here is a photo that shows what to click when you see the video:

TED_share

 

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Wade Balsdon May 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

Tweeted for you Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

Appreciate it very much Wade!!!

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Christina Schaefer May 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

Do we share this blog post page of the video itself? You might want to include some instructions. I figured out how to share the video, but a little help never hurts!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

The video is the best thing to share Chris, and thanks for the suggestion, I got that straight now. :-)

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Steve May 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

You did a fantastic job Marcus! Great, great, great (and congratulations on the NY Times article!). Think I’ll show the video to my boss who isn’t quite “getting” the honest blogging approach. Trying to get him to write truly honest assessments of competitive technologies (the good and the bad) and I keep catching him saying “how are we going to ‘attack’ product _____…”

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

So glad it helped a little Steve!! Good luck with the boss!! :-)

Marcus

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Iain May 14, 2013 at 5:19 am

I agree with Steve. You did a stellar job.

It always surprises me when people don’t take the same honest approach you spoke of.

I mean it isn’t difficult. It is just answering your customers’ questions.

I think people need to look at both sides of the equation. We can’t only focus on the good ones, so you bring up a great point Steve.

Sometimes we only focus on one side and that isn’t right. We must look at both sides to show everything.

great comment

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:18 am

Appreciate the kind words Iain, thanks :-)

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Jay Baer May 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

Terrific stuff, my friend. And ironic in that I just gave the Youtility presentation to 1,500 owners of car dealerships. Interesting crowd!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hahaha, yes, indeed. Thank my friend!!

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Mary Jo Preston May 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

Great stuff here Marcus,
Honest approach with honest answers! Just tweeted it out for you!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

Appreciate that Mary Jo!!

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Michael Ewing May 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

Congrats Marcus. I will spread the word to HubSpot folks!

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

Thank you!!!

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M. Halliburton May 13, 2013 at 10:06 am

Marcus,

Love it and just sent it out to everyone. I also suggested they make the time to download your ebook to learn all about this new way of marketing. I hope this helps.

Marc

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Jason Mulholland May 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

Well done Marcus,

I believe the one point that will resonate is that there are legions of people out there, wanting to do this very thing with their business. Whether they are the owner, or not. They want to be honest and transparent.

Jason

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Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks so much bud, that means a lot to me, and I do hope it resonates, that’s for sure. :-)

Best,

Marcus

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Kaila S | Vertical Measures May 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

Congrats on this opportunity Marcus. You did a fabulous job!!

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Ryan Hanley May 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Shared homey (everywhere)… so happy for you.

Best of luck getting on Ted.com.

Hanley

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

Dude, you’re too good to me, thank you Hanley!!

Marcus

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Lee Kirkby May 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Congrats on the TEDx talk. Sent out the link to all my Social Media contacts including several LinkedIn groups. Where else to get to business people directly. I can add a short anecdote. We sell postage meters as part of our product offerings. This industry is even worse than the traditional auto sales industry for half truths, gotcha clauses, rolling deals halfway through rental agreements, whatever. We decided to do it differently by telling people about what is hidden in their contracts, what the true components of a price need to be and even comparing the contracts of the three postage companies available in Canada. Today our Guide to Buying Postage Meters is the single most downloaded item on our website. We get leads from across Canada because of it and are expanding our market because of it. All for telling people what they have every right to know.

Keep up the great work Marcus and hope you make it to the big Show at TED.

Lee

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

Love your thoughts here Lee. Really well said my friend.

Thanks for all your support!!

Marcus

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Andrea T.H.W. May 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Done, tweeted, stumbled and G+, now I’ll go to YouTube. :)

It’s great when someone we know reaches a goal, even better if we can help with it. Participating a little is like sharing a bit of success, isn’t it?

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:26 am

What can I say Andrea, you always help and support me bud. Thank you!

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Andrea T.H.W. May 15, 2013 at 2:01 am

You are welcome. I’m just giving back a little as what I learn here is priceless to become a better blogger. And it’s even free! ;)

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Kathleen Booth May 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Fantastic Marcus! I am ADDICTED to TED talks. Very impressive that you have done one. After I leave this comment, I’m going to watch yours and then share. Just don’t forget all us little people after you make it into the big time at TED!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:26 am

You are so incredibly kind Kathleen and always support me so much at TSL. I really can’t thank you enough!!!

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Sheryl Kurland May 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Marcus,
I tweeted it. You have inspired me so much, it’s the least I can do for you. Best of luck…but you won’t need it.
Sheryl

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:25 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you Sheryl!! :-)

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Jossif Elefteriadis May 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Tweeted for you my friend.
Thanks for good tips!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:25 am

Appreciate it!

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Darnell Jackson May 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I give you an A for the presentation excellent job.

I think your pool business is a perfect example for 99% of business owners.

People are overlooking the value of building trust by providing quality information.

Thanks for helping me get confirmation on my content marketing strategy.

PS
McDonald’s still aint telling people whats in their food, I’m just saying.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:24 am

Darnell, thank so much. I know you’re not a big McDs fan, but hopefully they’ll keep getting better. ;-)

Best to you bud,

Marcus

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Walter Pollard May 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Incredibly well thought out and presented my friend! It’s ironic in that I was working on questions from the ‘Transparent Marketing” video for IT, when I received the news of your TED Talks video.

Another piece in the puzzle in continuing the upward climb.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:24 am

You’re a good man Walter. Appreciate your friendship and support bud. :-)

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Rich McElaney May 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

The quality of the presentations at Tedx Rock Creek Park was impressive and yours being the last of the day meant no small pressure to nail it – and you did! I enjoyed seeing it live and once again here – shared it with my social networks to spread the good word!

Can’t wait to see it on ted.com!

Congrats man!

Rich

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:23 am

Thanks brother, as always, much obliged :-)

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Jason Diller May 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I got chills the entire time. Shared it everywhere, and thew it into Buffer for the next week.

Speaking for the first time at a big chamber of commerce tomorrow.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me over the years.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

Again, thanks for all your support my man :-)

Good luck today!!!

Marcus

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Keith Robbins May 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Marcus:

I shared your thoughts on the honest economy and transparency with a friend over drinks at a local watering hole. His reaction was ‘so I guess I should go over to that table of ladies and just pull down my pants’. As funny as that would be, the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that that is not what transparency and content marketing is about.

Whether it’s pools or penis’s, size does matter. But a lot of other things matter more. Maintenance. Reliability. Compatibility. So transparency is more about the honest conversation(s) that you have with a prospect before you ever show them one of your installed pools (or show them your junk). The goal is to educate them so that when they see your pool (or your business), they understand and appreciate what they are looking at.

Transparency takes a lot of hard work and commitment. It’s not just pulling down your pants. We all have a lot more to offer than the customer can see by just looking at our product. You do a great job of communicating that in this blog. Maybe the next time you speak at TED, you can demonstrate this lesson on stage.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

I must admit, I didn’t see that analogy coming Keith, but I do get what you’re saying ;-)

Indeed, it’s hard work, there is a balance, and it’s also more of a culture than anything.

But boy is it worth it…

Thanks again,

Marcus

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Jeremy Abel May 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Congrats Marcus! Love the topic brother.

Shared, shared, and shared!

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:20 am

Thanks man, really appreciate that :-)

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Will Preston May 14, 2013 at 3:11 am

Nice work, I share also your video. Thanks for this ;)

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Leena May 14, 2013 at 5:06 am

I enjoyed the talk, and shared it too. Looking forward to TED.

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Marcus Sheridan May 14, 2013 at 7:19 am

Thanks Leena!!

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Shireen Louw May 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

Great stuff Marcus, sharing it with my community :)

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Andy Detweiler May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Marcus,

Kudos on the great video and inspiring story. Truly share-worthy.

I think the effectiveness of your premise and execution is undeniable. But I’m struggling with the notion that companies believe they have the “special sauce,” which is why they don’t operate the way you described. I wondering if the reason they don’t do the things you mentioned is because they DO realize they DON’T have a special sauce. They have to get you in the dealership, in the store, on the phone, etc., because they are insecure in what truly differentiates them from their competition. Or worse yet, those meaningful differentiators don’t exist.

The word I keep reading and hearing in the talks and in some of the comments above is “different.” As you correctly stated (and capitalized on), companies had gone down the path so far the other way that simply telling the truth, educating the consumer, and being transparent became the special sauce in and of itself. Assuming that changes, and five years down the line everyone is doing this, how do companies (car dealerships, for example) find those differentiators?

Would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this take and whether or not you would agree.

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Andy Detweiler May 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Marcus,

Kudos on the great video and inspiring story. Truly share-worthy.

I think the effectiveness of your premise and execution is undeniable. But I’m struggling with the notion that companies believe they have the “special sauce,” which is why they don’t operate the way you described. I wondering if the reason they don’t do the things you mentioned is because they DO realize they DON’T have a special sauce. They have to get you in the dealership, in the store, on the phone, etc., because they are insecure in what truly differentiates them from their competition. Or worse yet, those meaningful differentiators don’t exist.

The word I keep reading and hearing in the talks and in some of the comments above is “different.” As you correctly stated (and capitalized on), companies had gone down the path so far the other way that simply telling the truth, educating the consumer, and being transparent became the special sauce in and of itself. Assuming that changes, and five years down the line everyone is doing this, how do companies (car dealerships, for example) find those differentiators?

Would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this take and whether or not you would agree.

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Andy Brown May 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Marcus I shared your video on LinkedIn and once I have finished this comment I will share on my business Facebook page.

You really nailed it with great storytelling.

It must take a lot of practice to learn the script and have it flow so well. Did you try to memorise every line?

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Felicity Fields May 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

“I need you to give the speech today that you’re going to give in 5 years.” That is an incredibly powerful statement. I’m impressed you were able to put it together – I couldn’t even begin to figure out what my 5-years-in-the-future self will be talking about.

If ever there were a time to step out of your comfort zone, this is it. Well done!

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Ugo May 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Great talk Marcus, I will be sure to help you spread word of the video.

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Davina K. Brewer May 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

A TED Talk?! Bravo. Trying to think of how to help – a tweet or like or +1 seem so small, or IDK just not enough. Thinking I’ll have to go w/ the ‘use on my own site’ option and try to do it justice. Congrats my friend, well played. FWIW.

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Rob Metras May 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

The more people that see this the better. You know, I know and now the wider community will know that you should present to the much wider Ted audience. It is inevitable, dang you.

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Don Stanley May 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Nice bro! I love your transparency, in particular you telling us that you even asked out of the event. Really appreciate that honesty in action. But I’m more appreciative that Alison politely refused to accept your petition ;-)

And you know, Rhino Nation always has your back so I’m happy to spread the good word!

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Josh Heath May 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Marcus,

I’ve been following you for months, and I’m very happy to see that you’ve made it on TEDx. You definitely have the kinds of ideas that inspire people, and your “honest economy” idea is something that transcends good business practices into good human behavior, in my opinion.

If a business feels the need to hide the truth or (possibly worse) disguise it, then that business should either improve the product, start telling the truth, or get out of the business all together. I feel very strongly about the topic you just covered because I feel like there’s so much omissions of truths (or straight up lies) in my industry (website design and SEO). I used to work for companies that didn’t practice an Honest Economy, and it grated at me. Now that I’m on my own, I try to tell as many business owners as I can that they need to answer their customers’ questions as honestly as possible.

So I’ve linked to your video and this post on my social media accounts and on my last blog post. You’re very good for the marketing community, so I’m more than happy to get the word out about what you’re doing.

Keep up the good work!

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Craig McBreen May 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi Marcus,

Will share, of course! Love your message.

And very happy for you and your rocket-like ascent in the public speaking world. It’s fun to watch, really.

And now the creme de la creme, TED. Congrats! Shazam, Son! :)

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Anshdeep Verma May 17, 2013 at 8:14 am

Hi Marcus, the videos are excellent I’ve shared it with all my group dude.

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Rudd May 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

G+ed for you!

I think the video is great. I’ve seen TED talk few times before during my class and I think everyone should see TED talk show/video since I found most of the will open my mind, or sometimes change the perspective/view when looking at something.

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iGoByDoc May 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Marcus,

Have had this page open for the last few days, and finally saw the video today. Great job!

I spread the word through my channels!

Enjoy seeing your succes!

Doc

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Marcus Sheridan May 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

Really appreciate that man :-)

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Yaikoh May 28, 2013 at 5:51 am

Thank you for sharing this! I was caught with such phrase ‘ give me the talk NOW that you are giving in 5 years’ .. Wow you must really be good. Keep it up!

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Chris Heffer June 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Marcus you are an inspiration to me. I love this talk. I recommend it to everyone.

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Marcus Sheridan June 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

You’re a good man Heffer. Appreciate you brother :)

Marcus

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