From a marketing standpoint, the internet is a hurricane of competing messages, publicity stunts and celebrity endorsements shouting at everyone who logs on. Really, it’s a problem of “tuning out.” There are so many messages out there that the only way people can cope is by tuning out all the sales chatter.

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The people you're trying to reach are lumping you in with all the other marketing they see, which means they’re ignoring you. The problem, then, is how to “un-lump” yourself. How do you make your marketing stand out? How do you cut through the noise and actually reach your prospects?

The solution is marketing that resonates with people by making a personal connection with them. You have to be real. Rather than trying to create the biggest, most blingy explosion of marketing amazingness ever conceived, invite your prospects to develop a relationship with you.

Every marketer under the sun, moon and stars is using gimmicks and tricks to grab people’s attention. Screaming headlines, outrageous stunts and unreal promises are numbing your prospects. Be different. Tell the truth. Help people. Build a relationship.

Here are five steps to creating marketing that resonates with your prospects:

1. Work out your marketing objectives. Decide what you’re trying to accomplish. Different people have different marketing goals. Are you trying to increase sales? Build your mailing list? Generate new leads?

Before you create a marketing campaign, you have to decide exactly what you’re trying to achieve so you can measure whether or not you were successful.

2. Understand your brand. Every product has an identity. Every business has a culture and a purpose. Before you launch a marketing campaign, you have to figure out who you are.

Think of it this way: You’re about to have a conversation with thousands or even millions of people--your prospects. Before you can start talking, you have to figure out what you’re going to say.

Related: Selling Yourself

How should you sound? What sorts of things should you talk about? A business that doesn’t understand their own brand has a hard time reaching out because they’re always unsure if they’re saying the right thing.

3. Meet your audience. Different businesses sell to different types of people. You need to understand your target audience. Find out who your prospects are, what they’re looking for and what’s important to them.

In any conversation, you first have to meet the people you’re talking to.

4. Be real. In order to to make a true connection with your company, people have to understand who you really are. Rather than keeping your identity "cookie-cutter" and vague, showcase your real values and corporate culture. Allow people to develop a relationship. Let them feel like they’ve met you.

When you unapologetically embrace who you really are, people instantly want what you have. They recognize that you’re different from others--that you're real.

This is the key to creating marketing that resonates. People can sense when they’ve met the real you. They instinctively gravitate to authenticity.

5. Help people solve their problems. Your prospects have problems and are looking for solutions. People need your products and services right now. If you’re honest and good at what you do, they will want to do business with you.

You don’t have to “sell” people on yourself. Just help them learn who you are and how you can help them. There’s no reason to use gimmicks or tricks. People are confused and looking for answers. To make marketing that really resonates, educate, guide and help them.

You have an army of competitors in your industry but there’s only one YOU.

Work it.

Related: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace