(This is the final chapter of our focus on online dating and the increasingly social industry that it’s become. Third post in a three-part series. Miss the other two? You can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2.)
Laurie Davis has a gift.
A veteran marketer, Davis always had great success helping her friends strengthen their online dating profiles, making over their dating life so they would meet the right people.
She did some research and found that online dating was among the only industries growing during the recession. So, a little more than a year ago, Davis started her New York-based company, eFlirt Expert, within 48 hours with only $50 and a Twitter account.
eFlirt Expert has helped hundreds of singles over the past year. The company provides direction to the dating scene and offers a menu of services, from an eMakeover to a complete polish of your digital self – overhauling up to four sites including online dating profiles, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Tumblr.
To help singles transition from online to meeting offline, Davis said dating apps present unique opportunities. (The dating apps industry became a $550 million market in 2009, and it’s expected to be more than $1 billion by 2013.)
MeetMoi is a location-based dating app. It allows you to load a profile, and it pushes alerts to you when other singles are within a certain amount of feet from you. From there, if you and the other single person “opt in,” you can message, chat, or decide to meet in the middle.
The Urban Signals app is another that combines location-based services with online dating and social networks. To get started, you literally turn your signal “on.”
Assisted Serendipity is an app that taps check-in data from Foursquare. It lets you know when a neighborhood bar tips in your favor, in terms of gender. You can request that kind of feedback from a list of venues that you choose.
Davis said dating sites won’t be squeezed out by mobile apps.
“They’re complimentary,” she said. “Dating apps are more for the people who want to meet someone today, and you’d like to have coffee with someone. Dating sites are for those who want to meet someone for the weekend, and it’s early in the week. Most online dating sites have apps as well.”
Already on a date and not ready to go home? Try UrbanDaddy’s The Next Move app. This mobile feature allows you to keep the night going. You enter some info about where you are and set up some criteria for the next jaunt. (Example: Margaritas at a swanky bar.) It’ll tell you where to go.
Thomas Edwards, founder of New York-based The Professional Wingman, says he uses The Next Move frequently in his own relationship. Edwards, another dating coach, is Davis’s boyfriend.
The two met over Twitter. It began with a RT, a mutual follow, and finally a meeting through a DM.
Edwards specializes in the offline component to online dating; he focuses on personal development. How it works: Edwards goes out with you and figures out what’s preventing you from finding love. He’s worked with roughly 150 people worldwide.
“I listen to their dating past, what’s going in their life socially and dating-wise, and I listen to what their goals are,” Edwards said. “It could be that they just moved to a new city and they don’t have any friends, or that they just got divorced.”
So here are some tips for singles from the dating coach duo:
- Do get online. This allows you to reach beyond your normal social circle.
- Do check out some dating apps. They’re especially great for busy people who want to find love while they’re on the go.
- Do try this up-and-coming singles site: HowAboutWe.com. The activities-based site allows you to propose dates to your matches.
- Don’t use clichés in your dating profile. Show your personality by story telling.
- Don’t overuse adjectives like “cute,” “sexy,” or “fun.” And, if you’re going describe yourself as adventurous, offer a story to back it up.
Finally, in the event that you need all the help you can get, you could plant yourself in one of these cities, where online singles are most fervent in their search for romance, according to Match.com’s list from last summer.
They are: Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dallas, San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, and Houston.