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What if People Don’t Like Me? | #4 Hang Up Your Hangups

Introduction | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6

There’s no getting away from it, I like to be liked. There are people in life who don’t care what people think of them; I’m just not one of them. Here’s the thing, I’d like to be one of them. And what I’ve realised over the last year, is that to be different and to stand out from the crowd, I have to accept that not everyone will like me.

Accepting that not everyone will like you, or the podcast you present, is a significant barrier to pass. Some of the most successful people in the World divide opinions, and that’s just as true for podcast hosts.

Take Gary Vaynerchuk for example. There is a man that divides opinion. He is Marmite. You either love him, or you hate him. But he’s built up an incredibly loyal and passionate following. I’d argue that much of his success is down to the fact that he doesn’t settle for being middle of the road.

Why would people dislike you?

There are a lot of reasons why someone wouldn’t like you, personally AND as a podcast host. In no particular order:

  • You’re arrogant
    The show is clearly more about you than it is for your guests or listeners.
  • You’re a know-it-all
    You cut people off and force your opinions on others.
  • You’re obnoxious
    You’re just a ‘Grade A’ attention seeker who's loud, brash and inconsiderate of others.
  • You’re a big head
    You talk about your success and use your podcast as an opportunity to inflate your ego.

The four reasons above are all quite understandable. I’m sure none of you are like that. The truth is, most people aren’t like that. But even if you stay clear of the obvious reasons to be disliked, some people will still dislike you.

Haters gonna hate

You have to accept that the human species is irrational. There will be people who dislike you for no apparent reason. There's no logical explanation – they just don’t like you. There's nothing much you can do, and the best advice is to move on and forget about it.

An alternative approach is to follow Jay Baer’s advice and Hug your Haters. Smother them with kindness, look like the bigger (wo)man, and grow as a result.

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Likers gonna like

But this talk of haters, hating and not being liked isn’t exactly the upbeat message we want to leave you with.

So let’s look at the positives. Why would people like you? And why would they love to listen to your podcast?

  • You help people – Whether it’s on-air or off the air – you are always helping people.
  • You entertain – You’re funny, and you create content that is memorable for the right reasons.
  • You care – It’s obvious to your listeners that you care about them and are interested in them.
  • You inspire – Your listeners are given confidence and are motivated by listening to your podcast.

Do you want to be average or extraordinary?

If you do something that matters and find your ideal tribe, you will naturally divide opinion. Many will dislike you; some might even hate you. But, the thing is, that's the only way to find a loyal, loving audience – the type of people who will love and support what you do passionately.

You can’t find that audience without putting yourself out there, and being honest in how you do. I know that only too well. I’ve only just started using video as part of my marketing. I just didn’t have the confidence to talk to the camera. I convinced myself that I ‘had a face for radio’.

Put yourself out there. Be authentically ‘you’. Find your voice and you can be confident you'll find your audience.

Over to you

We all suffer from our own insecurities, and ‘not being liked’ is certainly a concern that many of us have. Every so often, we need a reminder of why we are liked and loved. This will be uncomfortable for some of you, but trust me – it’s a worthwhile exercise.

Ask your friends, families and colleagues this very simple question:

“Why do you like me?”

To protect your own ego and self-worth, I’d recommend you pose this question to people that you KNOW like you. Nothing will crush a soul like someone saying – “Errrrrm sorry Kev – don’t know where you got that idea from, but I actually despise you.”

Get the feedback. Write it down, and refer to it the next time you lack confidence.

Check out the whole series here: Introduction | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6


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Written by:

Kevin Anderson

Kev Anderson is a freelance copywriter and owner of Square Tree Marketing. After a 20 year career in marketing, Kev decided that he wanted to make his living as a writer. Kev’s an avid podcast fan and his favourite podcast is The Self Publishing Podcast. (He’s listened to all 191 episodes!)

March 25th 2016