Today, I spoke to Julie Spira, who is known worldwide as the Cyber-Dating Expert, and is the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. In this interview, Julie talks about personal branding as it relates to online dating, her predictions for the future of online dating, how the internet has affected online dating, and more.
What do online dating and one’s personal brand have in common?
Authentically is back in style and we can thank the 400+ million members on Facebook for the increase in membership to online dating sites. It’s important to represent yourself online personality as a brand and to be consistent in your messaging. My first online dating profile 16 years ago had the screen name of “Pianobaby” as I played the piano and loved music. As a result, I attracted other singles who had a passion for music including one named “Drummer Boy.” Find something that you are passionate about and let your voice shine through your keyboard. One of my female clients enjoys playing golf. We created a screen name to reflect that along with photos of her on different golf courses. She is happily improving her golf game with men whose wives felt like golf-widows.
Do you think the majority of dating will occur online in the next twenty years?
Twenty years ago, we hadn’t even seen the first video stream, so it’s difficult to predict how online dating will appear in 20 years from now. Match is just getting ready to celebrate their 15th anniversary and eHarmony will be celebrating their 10th this year. The successful online dating sites will flourish if they embrace the newest technologies. For this reason, mobile dating, mobile apps, and video chat will be important to the success of online dating sites in the next few years. Mobile dating is in its infancy, yet it is almost a billion dollar industry. It’s a nice companion to traditional online dating sites for the tech-savvy singles.
Is there such a thing as a blind date now with the internet?
There’s always the feeling of anticipation in getting ready for a blind date with someone you have met online. One of the first questions your date will ask you is, “Do I look like my photo?” One has to hope there’s truth in advertising and that their date will not be 10-15 years older and sporting an extra 10-15 pounds. There needs to be a balance between getting to know someone online and providing too much information before a date. Not everyone is ready to turn on their webcam.
What online dating profiles do you recommend and what are some strategies to get attention for yours?
Having an irresistible online dating profile is an absolute must to be successful in finding love online. Some of my tips include creating a catchy screen name and making sure that your primary profile photo is a headshot where you look your best. Both men and women are visual and it’s the first impression that matters. Think about which article you might read in a newspaper, and it’s usually the one with a great headline and captivating photo. The same holds true with an online dating profile.
Once you’ve got their attention, be specific about who you are and what you are looking for in a partner or a date. If you are interested in getting married, don’t be afraid that you’ll scare him or her away. You’ll be chasing away the ones you don’t need to waste your time with. Remember to stay organized, as the amount of responses can be overwhelming. Responding in a timely fashion is important. Toss out the old rules of waiting a few days. By the time you write back, your dream date might be getting ready to retire their online dating profile. Nothing is sexier than an award-winning smile. It’s inviting and profiles of women smiling will get a better response.
What issues do people have when they date online?
First of all, toss away any thoughts of the stigma of online dating. It’s outdated. Understand that it is a numbers game and you need to be patient. Take a look in the mirror and make sure that you are representing yourself authentically. I know singles are worried that their online dating shelf-life might have expired and they won’t fit into a search if they tell their true age. I can’t prevent those who want to lie about their age in their profiles from doing so, but it starts a relationship off on a bad foot. If you find that your Inbox isn’t as full as it used to be, take the time to initiate emails to more prospects. Someone will be flattered to hear from you.
Quite often, one person may be ready to take down their profile before another. I suggest that online daters try to resist the urge to stare at their date’s profile and monitor their online dating activity. Remember, they signed up for a dating service and more often than not will be dating multiple people until they have found the one they are the most compatible with.
Julie Spira is known worldwide as the Cyber-Dating Expert. Her expert online dating advice has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, CNET, Smart Money, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Glamour.com, CosmoRadio, FOX News, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health and more. She is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and hosts the weekly radio show, “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert.” Julie writes for Huffington Post, eHarmony Advice, JDate, Your Tango, Date Daily, and is the LA Dating Advice columnist, on Examiner.com. Julie creates irresistible online dating profiles for singles. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice and to share your online dating stories. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira.