Are You Serious?

I don’t know if this is the worst marketing mistake, but it may be close – and that’s being too serious in your marketing. Yeah, I know I just said above that you need to be more serious.

But there are different kinds of seriousness.

There’s “intentionally serious” and that’s good. When you’re intentionally serious, you are focused, committed to a result. You are serious about your intentions. You plan, prioritize, work and follow through. You are reliable, consistent, organized and dedicated to excellence.

Practice this kind of seriousness and you’ll do well.

One of my ace Marketing Mastery participants just sent an email about how she followed up with a prospect. The feedback she got from this prospect (soon to be client) was that he was very impressed with her, her qualifications etc., but also liked how she was so organized and methodical.

We can all work on this kind of seriousness and it can pay big dividends. We want to work with people who are focused and keep things on track and get things done.

But there’s another kind of seriousness that’s deadly.

And that’s taking yourself too seriously. The problem is that we confuse the two. We think they’re the same. Not at all. If we take ourselves too seriously, we start to resemble robots.

In trying to be so correct and professional it’s easy to come across as stiff and formal. When this happens, a person’s humanity gets suppressed, and it’s no fun to work with people like that.

When I’m speaking to someone on the phone, considering buying their services, in addition to expertise, I want to deal with someone who is warm, authentic and who has a sense of humor.

In fact, if that doesn’t come through, if we don’t share any laughter on the call, I hesitate to work with them. After all, if they have no humor and warmth on the call, what’s it going to be like when we start working together? Not so fun, right?

You have to find a balance. After all, there are also people with a great sense of humor and who are great to hang out with, but who have very little competence to get the actual work done.

When you find this balance (and it takes some serious work) it’s easier to create rapport and connection and move the process of working together forward with ease.

The More Clients Bottom Line: You might say that the best way to come across powerfully when speaking to a potential client is to take your work very seriously but not to take yourself so seriously. That’s the kind of person others love to work with.

By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.