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That’s What She Said: Breaking Through the Noise of Online Dating

18 May

Checked out the awesome Internet Week NY panel on Wednesday, “That’s What She Said: Breaking Through the Noise of Online Dating,” and thought I’d share their tips for using basic Marketing 101 principles to find success in the world of online dating.

Identify Your Target Audience

Who are you looking to attract at the end of the day? Figure out who you are and what you want. Sit down and make a list of the qualities you’re looking for and the deal breakers that you don’t want. Make sure that you stick to the things that really are deal breakers, because dating one of them will always come back to bite you in the ass.

Choose Your Platform

You have to be in the right place to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right (even if it’s just for Right Now), so once you decide what type of person you’re looking for, your best bet is to find them where they’re already hanging out online. There are niche sites and apps out there for whatever you’re into: from sugar daddies and cheating on your spouse to dinner buddies and music lovers.

For example, if you’re looking to get married tomorrow, you should probably sign up for Match or eHarmony, while you might check out OkCupid or How About We for a more casual dating experience. And, if you have an insane cheese fetish, your best bet to find that special someone might be FetLife or something like it.

However, just because you’re looking to meet people online, doesn’t mean you have to stick to online dating sites. There are social networking apps and websites out there for people with any interest you can imagine- I have friends that have met via cycling apps, SoundCloud, Twitter and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

Develop Your Brand Voice

Once you find the platform, what do you say? The key is to speak to your target audience, while being consistent with who you are, and simultaneously standing out from the crowd.

  • Be Yourself
    Especially when it comes to photos, make sure they are recent, and that you include both a close-up and a full body shot. And for the love of bacon, please post photos that actually look like you. There’s nothing worse than showing up for a date to find the creature of the black lagoon lurking in a bar stool where the hot guy you’ve been messaging was supposed to be. That, my friends, is what we call False Advertising. Also, stay away from those “Myspace” and “Duck Face” photos, unless you want to come across as a piece of meat.
  • Stand Out From the Crowd
    “If someone could have your exact profile, it’s not yours. It’s a bad profile.”

    If you have one of these statements in your profile, go remove it immediately:

  1.  “I listen to everything except country music” No you don’t. Be specific.
  2. “I’m just an average guy/girl.” Who the hell wants someone that’s just average?
  3. “I love my family.” Doesn’t everyone?
  4. “My dog is the best.” No one cares.
  5. “The first thing people notice about me is…my eyes, my hair, my smile, my height.”
  • Talk to Your Target
    When it comes to messaging a potential “customer,” tailor your responses to their interests. “Hi, how are you?” just isn’t going to cut it. Talk about what they’ve mentioned in their profile, and keep the conversation going by asking questions. Include a link to something they’ll think is cool or funny. Do something to make your message unique, and to keep the conversation going, and chances are you’ll get a response back.

And, the last and final tip is whatever you do, don’t become this girl.

You can watch the entire panel here. If you have the time, I highly recommend checking it out. 

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