We work online, we order food online at SeamlessWeb, we tell people when we’re sleeping online in Skype mood messages, we get jobs online on Linkedin, we invite friends to parties online on Facebook and we meet interesting people who can turn into friends online on Twitter. So why are some of us still hesitant to start meeting people to date online?
Maybe you’re not, maybe you have profiles on Match, eHarmony, JDate and OKCupid, but I know a fair share of you think online dating is cheap, or you don’t need it and that it somehow kills the romance. Allow me to introduce you to Laurie Davis, the Founder of “e-Flirt expert,” who is currently the NY Tech Dating Examiner, co-host of the weekly web show LoveNation and the moderator of a dating forum on Divorce Candy.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Davis offers a wide-range of services such as revamping your online dating profile, date-coaching and wing-womaning. She also offers VIP services where she will online date for executives who are too busy to check their messages but still want to meet people and go out on dates. “I get to live vicariously through many different types of people,” Davis says smiling.
Davis’ clients are 60% male, 40% female and from all different walks of life; they have different personalities and ages, her youngest is 20 and her oldest is 70! As you might expect, a lot of her clients are divorcees, but there are also a lot of kids right out of college, who have a hard time adjusting to a new form of social life.
Davis launched the site a year and a half ago but has been personally online dating for 10 years. I had the pleasure of chatting with Davis just before the Valentine’s Day season.
CBM: So why should someone start dating online?
You ever know who you’re going to meet or where you’re going to meet them. Today you might meet them at a coffee shop or you might meet them on Facebok, Twitter or Match.com.
(Davis happens to have met her boyfriend, The Professional Wingman, on Twitter.)
CBM: What tips do you have for online dating newbies?
1) The site you choose is really important, so check out different services. Make sure you actually see women or men on there that you want to date.
2) For your profile, you want to avoid and cliches or any adjectives like ‘adventurous’, ‘fun’, ‘cool’. Tell a story and be specific. Write about the time when you flew on a whim to Costa Rica. Be unique.
3) You need to reach out to people; women especially do not want to do this. You dont want technology to get in your way. You want it to enhance your dating life. If you see someone you like, you need to say hi.
CBM: What are the dangers of online dating?
The biggest danger is that you’re going to get really let down by the process. If you let the process take over and you focus too much on how many emails you’re sending or receiving you will be discouraged. As singles age, we feel the pressure to be in a relationship and we get caught up in the emotional aspects of dating.
CBM: What are good messaging and profile tips?
Be specific. Fill out the entire profile. Dont skip questions. Anytime you can make something a list, do it, because that means its going to be easy to skim and easy for people’s eyes to pick up on something. Lists are very good. Talk about who you are looking for but make the profile about you.
CBM: What are your favorite dating websites?
Every site is good for someone, but no one site is best for everyone. However, one site that is doing things differently today is HowAboutWe. It’s is a completely different way to date online. There are also lots of fantastic apps right now. Apps are something everyone should have on their phone right now. I love Urban Daddy’s The Next Move and location based dating apps like MeetMoi, UrbanSingles, Grindrr or Skout.
CBM: How do you use social media to build your brand?
I started my business on a complete whim. I’ve helped many of my friends get into many different relationships. I took $50, a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page and a blog and I started. 48 hours later and I was in business.
I mostly used Twitter. My background professionally is in marketing so I knew I needed to differentiate myself from different dating personalities. I decided to do a tip of the day on Twitter, something that wasn’t a no brainrer, something that makes you go, “huh, I never thought about it that way.”
No matter how big the company gets, I’ll always give free advice if I can do it in two DMs.
While the eFlirt Expert brand is currently Davis, one full-time team member, part-time interns, an advisory board and a PR and marketing consultant, she’ll be hiring certified e-Flirters around the country in the next year. This is a huge growing industry. After all, everybody wants love, and if using technology is naturally happening in the rest of our lives, why not in love?