I have a theory and I am working to put it into practice.
The theory is this: the strategies and tactics that I have used for 25 years (I’m older than I look) in marketing positions, can be tweaked slightly to address our personal communications and interactions.
There is a ton of information on personal branding and image available online. We seem to be doing a great job of managing our personal brands in our work lives. We update Linkedin, we Tweet, we write blog posts.
Something happens when it comes to finding a mate. We want the rules of nature to take over and our perfect partner to drop out of the sky and appear before us.
Good luck with that!
But this is not about marketing yourself up. This is not putting lipstick on a pig and calling it a peacock.
When clients call and ask me to write a press release that clearly states or claims something untrue or even simply unverifiable, I call bullshit. I counsel and chat and cajole until they understand that full frontal honesty is the best approach. We might put a fig leaf over that full frontal but authenticity is key.
So when you apply the principles of branding and marketing to dating, it is about authentically presenting your best self in a way that will likely attract your best partner.
I see it over and over again with my friends and clients.
They post that they are athletic. They post this because they want to meet an athletic mate or they think that athleticism will be attractive to their best mate. Then they bitch because all their dates want to do is meet at the gym. So maybe we use different words to describe their interests and needs.
In truth, everyone is probably born ready to date. If someone is brand new to online dating, they are actually quite a bit easier to prepare for dating than someone who has been dragged in and out of the trenches.
It’s about attitude, bias, and expectations.
When people ask how many sessions do you need with clients in order to make them date ready? I know that at one meeting I can review your online profile and immediately make suggestions to photos and text.
In two meetings we can talk about what your goals are and how we might build a profile and ongoing communications (which words and phrases you will use) to communicate what you want.
In three meetings we can build a long-term plan.
If you want ongoing handholding (like Tim texted me and I don’t know what to say back) then you can get ongoing handholding.
It’s actually super easy for me to review a profile. I see things that others do not catch at first glance. That’s the easiest part of the work.
The hardest part is helping people to avoid common pitfalls. My biggest worries are that the internet allows people to think, feel, and do 3 things (as noted above):
- Move too fast
- Want too much
- Give too much
I say move too fast because instant and easy contact is not good for romance. It is true, distance makes the heart grow fonder. We are mysterious creatures and our ability to stay interested has decreased with our waning lack of attention. We are all a little ADD and it comes across in our attempts to forge relationships. I’m not a doctor and I am not a therapist, but all this instant access is taking a toll on our brains.
The second concern is that it makes us want too much. I received a list from a client with outlining her “perfect mate.” It was 50 bullet points. This guy was so perfect I told her that when we find him, make sure he has a brother because I will leave my great partner for him. It was as if Batman, Brad Pitt, and Einstein plus some poets and billionaires were melted into one man. It was a little ridiculous. The internet makes us think we can have it all, in an instant, with the click of a button. I blame Amazon. So as thinking, feeling humans, we need to understand where we are in this internet world and make conscious decisions.
So if you are super clued into your authentic self (you understand yourself and what you offer to a mate) and you are really good at communicating that, then we might not need to spend much time together.
I am a strategic consultant. I have worked for several PR firms, corporations, and have consulted for over 100 small businesses. It sounds so 1972, but we talk man. Like we just talk.
As far as putting it into a process (something I can package and sell) it comes down to visual presentation, story, and engagement. What pictures are you posting, what words are you saying, and how are you responding.
I cannot put it into a fixed process because we have different types of people, but if you can tell me what you want, I can tell you what photos, words, and engagements you need to convey that.
Actually, this gives me a business idea. I should create a dating cheat sheet. Check my blog in a few weeks and I will work on that.
But to help answer your question more, photos are key. We know that we are visual people. The problem is that what we think works does not work. Examples: Bald men with caps. Sunglasses. Only selfies. One photo. Abstract or weird things that are not related to you.
These profiles say: I’m insecure, I am hiding. I don’t have any friends or a social life. I don’t care to invest in this process or you. I am not comfortable with myself.
To be really good daters we all need PH. Ds in psychology. Or, we need to use the shortcuts to understand human communication.