Source: http://nataliethecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/9395228324_036aa68eab_o.jpg
So this is kind of funny… you’re about to read a blog post about online dating from my past and current experience. This is going to fun to share.
With the recent announcement about Body Boss, I’ve been gathering my thoughts to figure out my Next Move. While doing so, I’ve also jumped into the online dating pool. (Shh, don’t judge me.) When I’ve told this to others, people are really, really curious why I’m on there. I’m not sure if that means people don’t think the internet would embrace a virtual me or because I’m so great in real life (“IRL” for you non-online dating folk). I’m hoping the latter.
In any case, I’m finding myself applying so many of the entrepreneurial ninja skills to work on my Match profile. I thought it’d be fun to blog about. It’s funny because business (relationship) development in this case is much different than approaching coaches and a lot more attractive for the most part.
So what are some take-aways? Let’s go.
The layout of your marketing campaign! (Yeah, I’m going to show you my profile… c’mon now.)
  • First, online dating apps are like sales channels. Why am I on an online dating site? Because I’m expanding my “sales” channel of me. I’m giving myself web presence in addition to the brick-and-mortar version of me. It allows me to expand my audience to those I may have difficulty (or never) reaching.
  • Skin-in-the-game is good. That is, in a product/ service setting of a startup, free trials/ models by themselves allow subscribers the ease to stop using your product. Likewise in online dating, free apps lower the bar for people to join which is good, but more often than not, those members don’t have any pull to really pursue a real relationship. Thus, joining a paid model helps weed out the non-serious members.
  • You are what you’re marketing. I’m not selling a SaaS product or an app. Instead, I’m selling myself to the ladies online. Sadly, like a bootstrapped startup, I’ve got limited funds/ skills so my pictures probably aren’t the best. I have to work on that. However, the basic principles of marketing are the same in that every picture, every line you write has to have a purpose to attracting your market.
  • Quality over quantity – simplicity is golden. In online dating, you’re trying to get a member to write you a message, or to respond to your own, with the goal of going offline for a meeting. Like a good slick for marketing your startup, don’t state every benefit in the world and feature to your customer. In online dating, state only the most pertinent information that would entice a member.
  • Customer discovery is fun but can get weird. You can watch how your “number of views” or “winks” counts change after you implement changes (geez, I wish I could do A/B testing), but in the end, you can also solicit someone like a friend who represents your target market, and get feedback. Just remember that like in a real startup, you’re looking for honest communication where partners aren’t shy to tell you what they like/ don’t like.
  • Know your target market – who’s in, who’s out. One thing I learned early on with Body Boss is that I have to accept some coaches were not ready for technology or interested, in general. There are just some who will not buy what you’re selling, and that’s okay. As they say, there are plenty other fish in the sea.
  • Don’t forget the Call-to-Action. Most online dating sites have a CTA for you in the form of a blue button that reads, “Email her now!” However, you can also help a reader start a conversation with a simple question like asking where would she go anywhere in the world tomorrow given nothing to stop her, or in my case, a simple WINK and I’ll start the conversation. (I think of this like a turn-key sign-up process where I’ll help you get started.)

Obviously online dating is not a startup. For one massive reason, I’m not looking for multiple customers. That’d be weird and terrible. So far, it’s been a fun experiment online with this new perspective of being a more seasoned entrepreneur. Now, I just have to attract the right partner… And to the point about the target market, I have to do a good job as a marketer/ sales person to make it like I’m the best product for the reader.

What are your thoughts about online dating or dating in general as it could relate to startups and business?  
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