The wave of online dating.
With online dating having become a billion dollar industry in the US of A alone, it’s no wonder that there has been a recent wave of media attention focused on finding a mate via the web.
Television and print publications are taking note of how more and more people are moving online to find dates and watching the rapid growth of the online dating sector amidst economically challenging times.
As the Founder and President of VIDA, I am often asked by media outlets to contribute to their programs as an expert online-dating consultant.
It’s a hot topic… plus I’ve spent a ton of time in the trenches, made all of the mistakes, met countless women online (and offline), and been in healthy relationships. Dating is my life and my career (and that of the dating agents on my team with whom I interact on a daily basis).
Imagine if your job was to spend well over 40 hours per week working with trained experts to find great dates for a diverse group of clientele. And when I say diverse, I mean really diverse: bald men, short men, attractive women that receive over 100 messages per day, overweight women, Asian guys only interested in Caucasian women, guys that want to meet women in Russia, 27 year olds, 67 year olds, etc…
I’m constantly analyzing interactions and making mind-blowing new discoveries.
I imagine it would be pretty hard not to build a wealth of knowledge that people (a lot of people) want to tap into.
Three recent articles I was featured in had some rock solid tips that I wanted to share with you here. One is from Men’s Health magazine and the other two are from Business Insider, where I’m willing to bet you’ll be seeing even more of me soon.
I had one of our dating writers bring together the main points that are bound to increase your results. You can read the full articles by clicking on the titles, but think of the remainder of this post as an executive summary of some great online dating articles and tips that journalists have put out there recently… (such a rare thing)
Read on and let me know what you think in the comments below…
Men’s Health – The Algorithm Method
Picture yourself perfectly – The fact of the matter is this: Looks are important to both men and women. Make sure you choose your best photos. As Scott always says, online you are only as good as your worst photo. Use MyBestFace, an application by OKCupid that allows you to upload photos for the other members to vote on, to help you quickly narrow in on the winners and eliminate the duds.
Be (relatively) brief – This relates primarily to your profile but it’s an important thing to remember for your messages as well. In Click Magnet, Scott says “A profile is a great way to sell yourself, but don't give the whole game away. Make sure you don’t kill all the mystery too early by disclosing too much. Mystery creates intrigue and she’ll think about you more, which will heighten her attraction and interest in you.” Or as Robert Epstein, Ph.D., a psychologist and creator of the compatibility test at AreWeGoodTogether.com puts it, “Your write-up should be like a woman's skirt–long enough to cover the essentials, short enough to be interesting.”
Game the system – Update your profile regularly. Our online dating coaches realized that there’s a correlation between updating client profiles and receiving unsolicited winks and emails and, ultimately, found that our clients received four times as many “winks” when we did daily profile updates. The concept you need to understand is this: when you make a minor update to your profile and it’s sent to a site moderator for review then, on many sites, you will appear at the top of some of the search engines. Think of it as the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of online dating. On Match.com, the default search ordering is called “Original Order,” which has no real meaning in and of itself. And building traffic to your profile is key. As we revealed in this post, messages sent to people who had simply viewed a client's profile were just over 80% more likely to elicit a reply. Also, by updating your profile, you can appeal to different types of women and even get a second chance with women who previously didn’t write back.
Message better: The don'ts – Fact: Girls don’t want to date dumb dudes, so lay off using “LOL” “U R SEXY” and “LUV” or writing in all caps. Also, don’t do any 2am messaging. As Dr. Ritvo (whoever that is) puts it: “it’s the online equivalent of a drunk text.”
Message better: The do's – Remember to always frame yourself as the prize, not the other way around. Maintain the mentality that every woman will write back. You're a selector, you're fighting off women. As Scott was quoted saying, “you're not writing ‘hope to hear from you' but rather ‘talk to you soon.’”
Seal the deal – Within three messages it’s time to set up a meeting. Keep it light and funny, and use the word “meeting,” not “date.” It takes the pressure off and leaves things casual and loose.
Business Insider – How To Find The Right One Online (Dating Website, That Is)
There is a plethora of dating websites out there, from Match.com to JDate, that offer different advantages depending on the financial commitment you are willing to make, what kind of engagement you are looking for (long term vs. “playing the field”), or even the religious preference of your potential match. Here are the basics you need to know when choosing the site to do your searching:
To pay or not to pay: What is comes down to is this: People who are willing to pay for online dating are more serious about arranging a date offline. Many people create profiles just for fun or to test the waters on free websites such as OkCupid or PlentyofFish. Shelling out the extra cash will pay itself back with dividends.
Looking for Mrs. Right: Those who are looking for something long-term will find better luck with website such as eHarmony and Chemistry.com. These sites “set you up” with people who have similar interests and compatible personality traits.
Special Interests: There are niche dating sites for virtually every corner of the socio-cultural-economic spectrum. There is the well known JDate, for Jewish singles, or BlackChristianPeopleMeet.com, for…well, black Christian singles. The one drawback, the more specific the niche, the smaller the dating pool to choose from.
(Side note: Any journalist that writes “If you're totally overwhelmed (and understandably so), check out www.vidaselect.com. After discussing online dating tips with them, I can tell you that they definitely know their stuff. The best part is: they’ll do all of this (and much more) for you…” deserves a mention on our blog. Thanks Katharine!)
Business Insider – Your Online Dating Game Should Be A Lot Like A Marketing Campaign
Now that you’ve found the right dating site that matches your personal preferences, it’s time to create a profile and send some opening messages that women will find intriguing. It’s best to treat this whole process as though it were a personal market campaigned designed to sell yourself to individuals you hope to attract. The following pointers will make sure you are showcasing your product (you) in the best light:
Keep your audience in mind: You should keep your target market (type of girl you want to meet) in mind when you write your profile. If you’re just looking to hook up with party girls then you need to create a profile that will appeal to them. If you’re looking to tie the knot then you need to look more serious about your intentions to find a partner. If you want feedback, shoot messages to women outside of your area that share the characteristics of your ideal date and ask them for feedback.
Show, don’t Tell: Don’t use adjective or clichés to describe yourself. Show people with anecdotes and stories to illustrate to kind of person you are. Think of it this way, which one of these sparks your interest more: “I love to travel” (really, who doesn’t?) or “I lost my Passport in Mexico and had to sneak back across the border like Ben Stiller in The Heartbreak Kid.”
Attention-grabbing subject lines: Highly desirable women receive way too many emails with the subject line empty or something lame like “hey there” or “sup sexy?” To distinguish yourself, you need to be different. Give them a reason to be curious about what’s inside.
Reel him or her in (a call to action): Your message should tickle their imagination, challenge them, and make it easy for your romantic interest to respond. Try asking them a direct question or telling them what you’d be interested to know about them, ideally at the end of the message.
If you are truly interested: Winks rarely work (especially with attractive women) so take the time to write a message – but keep it relatively brief.
Don’t appear desperate: As in sales, it’s a good idea to send a follow up message if at first you don’t get a reply. Remember though: persistence can be good but harassment will definitely work against you, weirdo 😉