Walking up to a complete stranger, or someone you’ve seen there before but never met, can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you find this person attractive. But you put your nerves aside and make the decision to strike up a conversation.

And cue the bad pick-up line.

You’re nervous and trying to make a good first impression. But saying “Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got fine written all over you” or “You’re a thief – You just stole my heart from across the room” probably won’t get you very far.

You might be a great person with a lot of valuable traits, but the target of your pickup line probably won’t hang around long enough to find that out.

The same can be said for common mistakes we make with our content marketing. One of the biggest reasons we create content is to connect and engage with our audience. We want to help them learn something and be able to trust us.

But sometimes our content fails to achieve all of this. Just like with a bad line, you had a great goal in mind for your content, but your execution was unsuccessful in reaching it. Here are some reasons your content might not have lived up to your expectations.

Your headline is all wrong
If you approach someone at a bar and say “Are you lost? Heaven is a long way from here,” you might want to just turn around and walk away. Why? Because you can only make a first impression once, and that pickup line might have just ruined it for you.

This is really no different than creating a less-than-stellar headline for you content. Your headline is your content’s first impression to a reader – it’s what hooks them and inspires them to check out your content. And, that headline might be the only impression you do make on the reader.

According to Copyblogger.com, eight out of 10 people will read your headline, but only two out of those 10 will read the rest of the article. Just like a pickup line acts as an icebreaker (how much does that polar bear weigh?) to have a conversation with someone, your headline serves the purpose to get someone to read on to the next sentence.

There’s no personality in your content
Some people do enjoy hearing a pickup line if it’s exceptionally cheesy and rated PG – they can actually be pretty funny. I challenge you to not laugh if someone says “If you were a booger, I’d pick you first” to you.

That line works in certain situations because it shows a little bit of your personality – you’re funny and like making people laugh. But there are thousands of other lines out there that can work against you if they don’t showcase your true personality.

For your content to really connect with your audience, you have to give your brand a personality. It can be easy to lose your company’s personality in monotonous and lifeless articles when you’re really trying to teach your audience something. But without a personality in your content, your audience may become detached from your brand, thus diminishing your standing as a thought leader and failing to cultivate brand loyalty.

You don’t understand the goal of content marketing
If the whole reason you’re using a pickup line on someone is to get a phone number or plan a date, the line might not be your biggest problem. How do you know you want to spend time with that person without getting to know them yet? You might not even need a pickup line if you approach the interaction as the opportunity to find out who each other is first.

Similarly, your content shouldn’t be a sales vehicle – rather it should be viewed as a tool to build your brand. When crafting your content, don’t think about trying to sell company, products and services to readers. Instead, keep the goal in mind that you want them to trust and value what you have to say by positioning yourself as your marketplace’s innovator.