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I have attended a conference in my industry for online dating. This was a business conference and there were lots of people involved in all components, including executives of current sites, site builders, new site entrepreneurs and payment processors, marketers, matchmakers and me, an online dating consultant. Lots and lots of people.
The final event of the conference involved a panel of 10 or so big-wig execs from some major sites.
At one point, one of the panelists asked this giant conference room of hundreds of industry professionals how many of them had actually gone on five online dates in the last year.
In other words, who in here actually has even used the products we make?
It was an intense moment, especially as only a handful of us raised our hands and looked shakily around the room. Whoa. I couldn’t believe it.
Of the panelists, the one who asked the question was the only one of all the executives who had.
I knew I had a distinct knowledge base. As one of the few people who really understands the user experience, I am also an expert and advocate to every one of my clients and every dater who reads my words.
The panel discussion moved forward with talks of emerging markets and industry trends.
I had my hand raised to ask some questions I had involving user experiences, but I never got the opportunity to ask.
Ideas that, from a member standpoint, would help daters meet matches faster and more efficiently and get offline and into relationships.
That was the goal, wasn’t it?
So when the panel broke up and the conference ended, I sought out a couple of those executives to ask about the ideas I had.
The first exec I cornered, while he was kind enough to listen to me, had no interest in what I had to say. The questions I asked him fell on deaf ears.
The second exec I cornered told me my ideas were great but he had no idea why they hadn’t been implemented industry-wide.
“You must be proactive. You have to get in
front of as many people as possible.”
I studied business in school. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I myself am a business owner. My business hat clicked on and so did the sad reality.
Online dating sites are businesses, folks. Never. Ever. Forget it.
Businesses, in order to survive, must take in money. And the dating site business is no different.
Unfortunately, that business model isn’t directly concerned with finding you love.
They are concerned with signing you up for monthly membership fees and selling just enough hope to keep you on those sites for as long as possible.
They aren’t necessarily concerned with features that will find you better dates, like the ideas I was heaving at them.
If you start finding better dates/relationships, you’re not signing into their site anymore. Think about it.
Well I will tell you as much as you and I don’t like that fact, it doesn’t mean we can’t work around it.
Millions of people have found their relationship online and you can too.
But what it does mean is the responsibility of finding that special person is yours.
You must be proactive. You can’t rely on their matching systems alone. You have to get in front of as many people as possible.
Hopefully my columns will give you insight to how to get there faster.
Good luck, daters!