So, it turns out that online dating isn’t just for strange, desperate individuals. In fact, it’s an increasingly popular and accepted way for modern singles to find that special someone. And if it’s working for them, why can’t it work for your business?
Think about it: single, successful business seeking available, interested consumers.
Now, I’m not implying that your business should run out and make a profile on eHarmony. For one thing, the site administrators probably wouldn’t let it happen. For another thing, it’d be really weird. But from a non-romantic standpoint, there’s actually a few key things your business can learn from the world of online dating.
1. Find the right crowd. The entire appeal of online dating is that it puts you in touch with the right people. Rather than scouring a local bar in hopes that you’ll magically spot someone with your same taste in literature, films and type of dog, online dating sites let you check a few boxes and it works the magic for you.
When it comes to business, you need to find your niche. And to do that, you need to figure out where your target demographic hangs out online. Should you place ads on Facebook? Google? If you want to find your people, you need to go where your people are.
2. Put your best foot forward. Just because you have a mysterious rash on your arm doesn’t mean you should post about it online. When you’re looking for a potential suitor, you want to share your best qualities so you can make a good first impression. With that said, honesty is also key — if you filter yourself too much you’ll end up with matches that, well, aren’t very good matches.
If you want customers, you need to impress them. Figure out your best features and what sets you apart from competitors, and focus on advertising and pitching those qualities. But just like dating, honesty is still key — stay true to your company’s culture and style so you can attract the type of customers you want.
3. Make sure to look ridiculously good. Hint: posting a fuzzy picture of yourself in your pajamas with a pint of ice cream might not be the best tactic on a dating site. When you date online, you want to look your best — whatever that means for your personal style. (Hey, if sweatpants and rocky road are your thing…)
In marketing, images and design are just as — if not more — important than words. If your website is poorly designed, your customers are going to have a harder time taking you seriously. If you’re the best at what you do, you need to package it well to catch people’s attention. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are if you don’t look the part.
4. Take risks. Unless you’re completely devoid of insecurity, dating online can be a rough ride. The fact is, you might get rejected. You might attract the entirely wrong crowd. But, there’s always the chance that your soulmate will search for “‘Lord of the Rings’ enthusiasts” in your city and soon fall into your outstretched arms.
Marketing your business online is a risk. Starting a business at all is a risk. You might invest significant time and money and reap zero rewards from it. But, what if even one person takes the bait from an online ad campaign? And then that grows into two more customers, and 10 more from there?
It’s time to quit worrying about all the negative “what ifs” while you pine away on lonely Friday nights with no traffic on your website. Put yourself on the market! Your soulmate customers could be right around a virtual corner, after all.