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|Lauren Keys • 3/17/16|
The Short Version: Being successful in online dating comes at a price — your time. From creating perfect profiles to engaging matches to securing a first date, the experts at Virtual Dating Assistants take care of everything, giving you peace of mind and more free time. In less than four months, nearly two-thirds of clients end up in serious relationships through the service.
Scott Valdez was disenchanted with dating sites when, after spending most of his free time sending messages that then went unanswered, he figured there had to be a better way.
After some research, he re-crafted his profile and started seeing results, but there was still one big issue — online dating was eating into too much of his life.
He browsed Craigslist for a personal assistant and found one in a recent creative writing graduate. Having such an assistant for profile edits and messaging freed up Scott’s time, and he was finally receiving responses — the lightbulb that would become Virtual Dating Assistants a few years later.
More than 3,000 people have turned to Virtual Dating Assistants, or ViDA for short, for help with online dating.
As the name suggests, ViDA perfects your profile and then sends messages on your behalf until a date is secured. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the company of your new, pre-approved match.
While about 65% of ViDA clients are male, Scott is soon changing that with additions to his site and his team that will cater more to women.
Scott started ViDA with a scientific approach because he wanted to know, with absolute certainty, what did and didn’t work in online dating.
ViDA analyzes the response rates with about 40 different keywords to tweak profiles and messages to excellence. Comprised of highly intelligent writers, ViDA helps make every client come alive through his or her profile.
While you always have access to the profiles ViDA creates or edits for you, the goal is to provide a stress-free and more efficient online dating experience by doing it all for you. Not to mention, the steps ViDA takes to market you are proven to be effective in garnering responses after seven years in the business.
The upfront process ensures you have clear expectations and know what your personal dating assistant is working on for you at any given time.
An account manager will be the client’s point of contact throughout the ViDA experience, which starts with a confidential call to learn more about the client.
The call is scheduled at a time most convenient for the client and includes getting to know more about the client in general as well as his or her goals in online dating.
From the information obtained during the call, the account manager chooses the best online dating sites to get the client set up on.
Typically, an account manager will select about three sites that suit the your goals. You will always have access to, and the final say on, what’s included in each profile.
Scott says ViDA tries to include a few of the seven “attraction triggers,” like humor and spontaneity, which translate to more matches and better chances of replies.
A perfect profile picture also garners more responses, so a ViDA team of experts will rate your images in order of the most attractive to select the best profile picture. If no consensus is reached, ViDA may schedule you professional photography.
Next, based on the information provided in the initial interview with ViDA, your account manager will begin digging through each site to find your next date.
ViDA cuts out the time it typically takes you to read the profiles of matches and instead sorts through your potential mates personally for the best fit. Then ViDA sends the curated profiles to you for approval.
Once a profile match has been approved, ViDA proceeds to send extremely engaging icebreakers to spark a conversation.
Most of the time, Scott says, ViDA sticks to a proven messaging format: grab attention, personally connect, and ask an easy question. While clients may opt to have an input, more than 95% of clients agree that ViDA accurately represents them.
Remember, the goal of ViDA is to handle this entire process for you until a first date is secured.
After a few messages back and forth, a date will be proposed, and for a smoother experience, ViDA even offers to select the location of the date.
Depending on your goals, ViDA can book multiple dates each week.
The idea of ViDA was solidified over a game of poker between Scott, his brother, and a few friends. In 2007, Scott broke up with his college girlfriend, who he actually met online. Unfortunately, he was less successful in finding love online the second time around.
Scott’s messages and profile on Plenty of Fish went largely ignored. He decided to do some research to better understand what he was doing wrong. He made some tweaks and went on some dates, but he realized it was a lot of work!
Since he couldn’t transfer his online dating duties to his work secretary without an HR incident, he decided to look outside of work for a personal assistant on Craigslist. Scott chose a recent graduate who majored in creative writing. After a few pointers, his assistant could basically manage Scott’s entire online dating life.
Two years and plenty of dates later, Scott met his brother and buddies for a poker game. His successful social life was a hit, and he realized his personal assistant approach to online dating could be useful to others.
With ViDA, busy professionals can have equally busy social lives without putting in the hours to maintain their online dating profiles. Plus, ViDA’s expertise means fewer strikeouts.
Scott wants ViDA to help clients to find what they’re looking for, and with an extremely hands-on approach, ViDA allows its clients to sit back and basically let the dates roll in.
After the free consultation and the initial get-to-know-you call, which in total takes just 90 minutes, the assistant goes to work to ramp up your online dating presence. In less than four months, nearly two-thirds of ViDA clients will be successfully matched into serious relationships.