The Scoop: As an Executive Consultant, Matchmaker, and Dating Coach, Kristi D. Price has seen the dating and relationship industry change over the years. That’s why she shares insights on upcoming trends and changing expectations of matchmakers, including working with dating coaches to ensure that clients are ready for new relationships. Kristi also believes collaboration between professionals helps more clients find love. By providing some of her top tips, she hopes to help matchmakers — and those reaching out to them for guidance — succeed.
Over the last 20 years, Kristi D. Price has worked as a wealth manager, personal trainer, life coach, and even a nationally acclaimed equestrian trainer. She’s used to helping people reach their goals.
For the last six of those years, she’s been one of the top matchmakers in Philadelphia and has honed her craft to the point that other matchmakers can benefit from her experience.
While it can be challenging to start a new business in the growing matchmaking industry, Kristi offers advice to those who believe they have what it takes. First, she recommends that matchmakers view their new venture just like any other small business in the modern world. The key, she said, is to brand your service to capture the attention of your target audience while presenting yourself in the right way.
“What is your passion? And what type of client do you want to work with? You have to know your core values and branding. A lot of matchmakers jump into it, but they don’t have a marketing strategy to reach the type of client they want to work with,” she said.
For instance, Kristi said that if you market your services too broadly, it can be more difficult than working with a targeted clientele.
“I work with active, successful singles. That’s my niche,” she said. “My clients are positive-minded professionals. You need to know who you want to reach, so you can target your marketing effectively.”
That’s why Kristi works with other matchmakers and entrepreneurs to create brands, slogans, and value statements that make it clear why a client would choose them over another service.
As the matchmaking industry has changed through the years, those strategies have become necessary, and Kristi has seen that change in the industry, along with many others, firsthand through her years as a consultant.
More Millennials Turn to Matchmakers as Online Dating Becomes Increasingly Frustrating
A few years ago, the typical matchmaking client was over 40, Kristi said. They were often newly single after a divorce or the end of a long-term relationship and didn’t want to navigate the online dating world. But, since then, the matchmaking demographic has gotten younger.
“In the last year, I’ve seen a lot of millennials and younger professionals getting frustrated with online dating because they’re not getting the results they want. Time is money, and they’d rather spend their time on dates, so they’ll reach out to me as a matchmaker,” Kristi said. “Some also need coaching on how they can meet people organically in their lives rather than sitting online.”
The trend of more clients in their late 20s and early 30s seeking personal help in their dating lives has made many matchmakers rethink their business models to accommodate them.
“Many young singles often don’t know where to meet other singles or how to approach them. Online dating worked well in the past, but now it’s really hard. There is a perception of perfection with online dating. Some people think there is always someone better around the corner, so relationships are hard to sustain because they jump out the first sign of imperfection.” — Kristi D. Price
“I offer a junior level, so they can afford it. And I know it will be a trend for the future for people who want to meet someone else who’s interested in a monogamous relationship,” Kristi said.
Many of the millennials coming to matchmakers across the country are also showing up without the best communication skills, Kristi said.
That’s especially true for professional singles who spend most of their days and nights in front of the computer. For those in the technology fields, meeting someone in real life can be an intimidating idea. Add in the fact that online dating has become more challenging, and many young singles aren’t sure what to do, Kristi said.
“Many young singles often don’t know where to meet other singles or how to approach people. Online dating worked well in the past, but now it’s really hard,” she said. “There is a perception of perfection with online dating. Some people think there is always someone better around the corner so relationships are hard to sustain because they jump out the first sign of imperfection. The people who are fed up with the online dating frenzy are now coming to me for date coaching and matchmaking.”
Partnering With Dating Coaches Can Provide More Value
Of course, it’s not just young professionals who are looking for advice on communicating with other people. These communication skills are necessary for anyone who wants to network — professionally or personally.
That’s why matchmakers should consider partnering with dating coaches to help singles with the communication aspects of dating. Coaching isn’t just for singles; it’s also for people who have recently come out of long-term relationships or marriages.
“No matter what age group — whether they’re young, newly single or just got out of a 20-year marriage — they are unsure how to navigate today’s world of dating”, Kristi said. “Are they healed, open and ready for a new relationship, or are they just filling a void? A matchmaker should know that before taking a client on. We need to do our due diligence to make sure the client is ready and not blocking themselves from new relationships by holding onto the hurt from past relationships.”
Dating coaches can help millennials gain the confidence to get out and date again as well as teach them the basics of dating. Some young professional women have found success in the corporate world, but they struggle in the dating world because they’ve shut off their feminine side, Kristi said. That, in effect, can emasculate some of the men who may pursue them. A coach can guide them on how to embrace their feminine side and find more romantic success.
“It’s really what each one needs. Everyone benefits from coaching in addition to matchmaking,” Kristi said. “I think of myself as a personal coach and executive consultant. Tapping into both can help clients receive the information better.”
Kristi Encourages Collaboration Rather Than Competition
In the past, some matchmakers would keep their databases of singles under lock and key, but Kristi said that might not provide the best service for your client. It doesn’t matter how good your database is if you’re unable to make a connection for someone.
“I’ve seen a lot more collaboration in the last couple of years compared to when I started seven years ago. Some matchmakers believed they should only use their own database to make introductions or they felt threatened by other matchmakers possibly so they wouldn’t collaborate,” she said. “I believe in the law of abundance. If you’re doing the right thing for your clients, then you’re going to use all the resources available to find good introductions for them. This includes working with other matchmakers who may have good matches for your clients too. ”
That’s why it’s the new trend for members of the matchmaking industry to create a network of professionals with different databases. If a client comes to a matchmaker, but he or she is not within their niche, it would be a service to refer the client to a matchmaker with a more appropriate database, Kristi said.
“I think new matchmakers who want to succeed should attend matchmaking seminars to meet other matchmakers to collaborate and take business classes to learn how to market, brand themselves and get out and effectively network,” she said. “The Matchmaking Alliance and Matchmaking Institute have good getaways and seminars, and those are effective ways to meet other matchmakers and pick their brains. That’s often more valuable than the certifications. Instead of a certification, the first step should be finding a matchmaking mentor and taking classes on how to build a business and learn how to brand yourself to reach your target audience. For matchmakers on a budget, SCORE is a free national organization to support new business owners.”
She also said that matchmakers and dating coaches should focus on growing their client bases and leave other specialized tasks— including website building, graphic design, bookkeeping — that they’re not good at, to the professionals. That way, they can focus on what they do best.
“It’s important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Focus on your strengths and delegate areas where you aren’t strong. Spreading yourself too thin can detract from giving your existing clients great service, recruiting new clients and building business relationships,” Kristi said.