Your marketing is a one-night-stand. Not the good kind.

I work with clients to meet and engage people online. Sounds a little like dating and well, it is…a LOT like dating. As a marketing or business leader, you want to establish a relationship with someone that results in them spending a lot of money on you becoming a fan, buying what you’re selling and telling all their friends. Yup, dating.

I frequently see clients make first-date mistakes in marketing. It’s enough to make a word-nerd go all Cyrano de Bergerac (sans proboscis). Which is often what I do. Here are a few of the dating blunders I see most frequently:

You talk too damn much

Look, you know you’re a catch. But communicating the degree of your awesomesauce to someone else can be a little nerve-rattling. I can sympathize. Often insecurity around saying the right thing results in verbal dia….uh, lots of words. But sometimes…frequently…usually, less is better. You want a conversation, not a monologue, even in marketing. Because people buy from people and brands they trust. Understand your audience, tell them something they care about and give them a reason to come back.

You only talk about yourself

Your customers don’t buy your product (or service or mission), they buy what it does for them – how it makes them feel, what they can do with it. See, it’s really not about you at all. Surprise. Knowing what your target audience wants and then connecting that to what you offer is different than just telling them what you offer.

Multi-syllabic buzzword bingo!

Is your company the leading innovator in…something? Do you have a unique approach to…something? Are you a paradigm shifter? Are you “disruptive”? We heard that you might be. Yeah, nobody wants to hear you talk like “that guy” (who I may or may not have dated several times over throughout my entire adult life).

You didn’t ask for the second date

We aren’t big fans of “the rules” around here. We think that three day waiting period between a date and a phone call is the perfect amount of time for the other person to find someone else. There’s something to be said for establishing that you’re interested and (reasonably) available. For companies, that means follow-up marketing and a visible presence online, with opportunities to engage.

Sorry, someone had to tell you. Your dating habits could use a little help.