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10 marketing lessons that will up your dating game

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Beth Cook is a professional coach and writer. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

Almost every time I read marketing advice online, I can’t help but think about how brilliantly that advice would translate to the world of dating.

This week, I stumbled upon some fabulous tips from marketing experts, courtesy of Entreprenuer.com, and I’d like to do just that—apply these ideas to the dating game. You’ll thank me, I promise!

1. Remember to listen.

There is nothing more important in life than this. Listening is especially important in dating, because it’s the main way to find out if someone is a good fit for you. Everything someone says—and they way they say it—gives you information. Are they negative or critical? Do they hate their mom? Do they have a positive outlook on life? Do they ask you questions about yourself? Sit back and take mental notes.

2. Build out your story.

You’ve had a life before this moment in dating time, a life that has led you to be the person you are now. Get clear on who you are today, what you are offering, and what kind of relationship you want. Don’t worry if you have a checkered past (most of us do!). Focus on telling the story of the current, awesome you—both online and off.

3. Invest in phenomenal content.

If you are really serious about meeting someone online, you should have someone take some attractive photos of you and spend some time writing a very personal, accurate and entertaining profile. When it comes to online dating, you’re only as good as the content you’re serving up. Make it the best you can.

4. Arrange for face time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: get offline ASAP. People are always different in person than they appear in their online profiles. Don’t waste your time messaging.

5. Measure your online marketing efforts.

It’s important to keep track of your dating success (or lack thereof). Why? So you can repeat what works and stop doing what doesn’t work. If one in four people write you back online, you might want to email twelve at a time, so you have more options. Try regularly editing your profile photos and content to see what gets you more inbound messages. And give multiple online dating sites a shot to see which is the best fit for you.

6. Don't forget to be human!

You know what’s hot? Not acting like you’re perfect at everything in life. A bit of self-deprecation in a profile can be funny; so can admitting when you don’t know something in person. Show your humanness and you’ll attract someone who will love and accept you for who you are.

7. Craft a powerful title for your [online] profile.

Your profile name and/or tagline speaks a thousand words. Make ‘em work FOR you, rather than against you. Nix the boring ones (JoeV_82), the sex-referential ones (Nikki_xxx) (LovrBoy), the negative ones (cranky1976) and those that are obscure or unmemorable.

8. Don't use generic emails.

No one likes a spam email. Repeat: no one. Do not send generic emails to people. Simply mention one thing that interests you about someone’s profile to get the conversation started. It’s easy. It’s quick. Lazy won’t get you anywhere.

9. Target your marketing to different audiences.

People often give up looking for love in the real world when they have a live online dating profile up. You should do both. And you should diversify your online efforts. Why stop at OkCupid? Shell out a few bucks and try Match, Chemistry, or a niche dating site.

10. Remember that there's a person on the other side (who also has a life full of commitments, stresses, activities and deadlines).

This is not all about you. Try to not take dropped conversations, postponed dates or failed romance personally. Most people are doing the best they can. Someone will either get their shit together and meet you in person or not. Someone will like you or not. Let things develop at their own pace and check in with yourself regularly to make sure you feel good about your dating efforts.

There you have it. Just like in business, your dating success depends on self-awareness, excellent communication, being a thoughtful person, and a bit of strategy. Market yourselves, my pretties! And attract your dreamboat guy or gal.

Photo by Rick&Brenda Beerhorst/Flickr