With the growing prominence of digital marketing, customers are coming to expect a more personalized experience, and today’s savvy brands are doing everything they can to measure up.

If you don’t connect with your customers in a personal way, you’ll fall behind competitors that do. That’s just the way business works these day. So whether you’re a startup or an enterprise corporation, you’ll find that personalization is more important than ever before.

But what if you’re trying to connect but the audience just isn’t receptive? This can be discouraging. Luckily, you can often pinpoint the reason why your audience isn’t connecting with your brand, and if you fix the issue, people will be more than happy to engage with you in the future. Here are seven common reasons:

1. You’re too self-centered.

Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than in two years of trying to get people interested in you.”

I’ve taken that to heart in both business and life. If you want to make an impact in someone’s life, focus on their goals and pains. It’s not about blasting your agenda and trying to interest people. It’s about listening in and delivering on what your customers are actually looking for.

People don’t connect with those that only talk about themselves. It’s a turn off. Instead, they cling to others that make them feel valued and appreciated.

Related: How to Overcome 6 Obstacles Facing Every Online Marketer

2. You don’t have a clear target audience.

If you’re marketing to everyone, you won’t connect with anyone. The clearer you can make your target audience, the better. Try to narrow it down as much as possible, as doing so will help you craft your message and value proposition in a more engaging manner.

When it comes to understanding my target market (and the target markets of my clients), I do a few things:

  • Identify the people that need my product or service the most.
  • Learn about their pains, challenges and goals.
  • Build personas based off what I’ve learned.
  • Market to that narrow group of people.

It’s not a complicated process, but it is one that most people overlook. By taking the time to really do your homework, you can position the right message to the right person at just the right time. And that, my friends, is powerful marketing.

3. Your content doesn’t evoke emotion.

That’s a nice way of saying it’s boring. You’ll create content for all aspects of your business, from your homepage to the headline in a customer-inquiry email. Each word you write must convey the right message. It should it evoke the right emotion for the situation.

Use language that directly connects with the pain points of your target audience. By doing so, you create a lasting impression and connection with your customer. Words are a powerful tool. Use them well.

4. You’re not taking a stand.

What’s unique about your business? What’s the one thing that sets you apart from the other, more established competitors in your industry?

You’ve got to know the answers to these questions. Just like it’s important to understand your buyer, it’s equally important to understand yourself. After all, if you don’t understand your unique selling proposition, how can you stand out and really connect with your audience?

Find what makes you different. Then build your marketing, sales and internal culture around that differentiating factor.

Related: 4 Strategies That Must Be Part of Your Marketing to Customers

5. You don’t engage with your audience.

Relationships are a two-way street. When problems arise, it’s never the sole fault of just one individual. In some way, each have contributed to the break in the relationship.

Find creative ways to engage directly with your audience. Strike up a conversation, send a thoughtful gift, share a token of your appreciation. This can become time-consuming, but it can also win customers for life.

The return is well worth the investment.

6. You haven’t built the right team.

Your business can die or thrive based on the team you build. Yes, it’s that important.

Look for people that align with your long-term goals and vision. Support them, encourage their success and help them through failures. Perhaps most important, be willing to accept when hiring someone was a mistake.

You’ve got to know how to build the right team. Sometimes that means letting go of the wrong team. Remember the adage: Hire slow, fire fast.

7. You’re too impatient for results.

Building an audience takes time. Despite what some “gurus” want you to believe, it doesn’t happen overnight. Regardless of how much traffic or how many followers you purchase, numbers alone don’t build an audience. Take the time to build it the right way. You don’t need gimmicks and ploys. It’s a simple matter of investing in the people that you want to invest in you.

Once you’re sure you’ve found the right audience, give it some time to see results.

What do you find most challenging about connecting with customers in this digital age? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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