I recently had an interesting conversation with Arbitron’s Jon Miller, author of the column “Not Your Average Quarter Hour” (shameless plug for a project I have some peripheral involvement with), about, of all random things, Guy Fieri the host of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on the Food Network.
Regardless of how we got on the subject, it turns out Miller really hates Fieri. He doesn’t like his look, his attitude or the fact that he named his two sons something like Hunter and Ryder. Miller doesn’t know the guy personally or anything; didn’t have a bad meal at one of Fieri’s restaurants. He just doesn’t like his persona.
What’s great about that is it means Fieri has enough personality for someone to form an opinion like Miller’s. Too many hosts are afraid to have a personality because they think someone like Miller won’t like them and that’s a huge mistake.
Compelling personalities will always have some people who don’t like them. It’s a by-product of standing out from the crowd so people will notice you and fans will embrace you. You have to be willing to have a let a few people dislike you if you want to cut through.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you go on the air looking to make people dislike you. Go on the air determined to stand out from the crowd with unique opinions and ideas. Focus on being an interesting, compelling personality and the rest, including the Jon Miller-esque haters, will take care of itself.