I’m face-to-face with a marketing problem. The problem is about 5’10, brown-eyed, and is talking about his mother with his mouth full. This is one of the many dates I’ve been on recently who had me at hello and then lost me shortly after. Why? Because, I realized, when it comes to getting someone invested in you, being smart and having a lot to offer just isn’t enough. (Sorry, Date #8.) If your marketing milkshake isn’t bringing all your clients to the yard, ask yourself these three questions:

Are You Engaging?

Do you only talk about yourself? Well, how do I say this nicely? Stop it. If all of your marketing content is blatant self-promotion, then you’re going to come off as self-centered. Worse, you’ll bore people. It’s fine if my date wants to show me 20 Instagram photos of his new dice collection – I could use a nap. But putting your clients to sleep probably isn’t your goal. Instead, be a good listener. Ask questions. What are your clients interested in? What are their challenges? What are they searching for?

Are You Useful?

I heard a dating coach say once that a man who sees a vision for his partner before she does, and helps her get there, is a keeper. Once you find out what your clients’ needs are, support them in getting those needs met. Better yet, provide the solutions yourself. Create marketing content that answers their questions, motivates them, or entertains them. Ideally, aim for all three.

Are You Trustworthy?

Are you only interested in getting one thing from your clients, or are you invested in creating a long term relationship with them? Be transparent. Be authentic. Do what you say you’re going to do. Trust is fundamental in getting people to take the next step. It’s how you create a bond between your brand and your consumers that could last a lifetime.

Let us know how you’re using any of these steps in your own marketing and how it has helped you. And if you are already using all of them, I’m impressed – what are you doing later this evening?