You could be the best dating coach or matchmaker in the world, but if no one knows where to find you, it doesn’t make much of a difference. You have to market your skills and services to convince people you can offer them something of value. But, in today’s technological age, it’s hard to know where to start and how to put together an effective and affordable online marketing strategy.

Some businesses are just winging it. According to Smart Insights’ research report on digital marketing, 49% of organizations don’t have a defined digital marketing strategy. Even worse, only 55% of individual team members in the State of Inbound 2017 survey said they believe their company’s marketing strategy is effective, and only 22% of businesses expressed satisfaction with their conversion rates.

Many business leaders want to use technology to increase web traffic and revenue. HubSpot found in 2017 that growing SEO and organic web traffic was a top priority for 61% of marketers. But they need some pointers to be successful. Dating experts, matchmakers, and other professionals in this industry can use the following guidelines to frame their businesses in a positive light and attract clients online.

1. Target a Clearly Defined Audience

Before you develop the details of your marketing strategy, you have to decide what market you’re trying to reach. Know who your audience is. Know what they want. And, most importantly, know what you can do for them.

You should define your target audience with as much specificity as you can. Do your matchmaking services appeal to the over-50 crowd? Is your coaching program geared toward millennials? What gender? What orientation? What income level? Who is your ideal client? Of course, you don’t have to pick just one type of person. You can download and complete free customer persona templates to help you conceptualize your customer base’s demographics, so you can tailor your message to different audiences.

Screenshot of a persona template

Xtensio’s user persona template includes an age range, personality traits, goals, and frustrations.

If you want your brand to resonate with a particular group, you have to understand their specific needs, habits, and desires. Once you decide who it is you’re talking to, you can decide what to say.

2. Develop a Positive & Appealing Message

The best slogans — the ones that stick in your mind and leave you feeling good — are simple yet memorable. “Nationwide is on your side.” “I’m lovin’ it.” “Because you’re worth it.” They send a positive message to people and make an emotional appeal to potential customers.

Successful dating coaches and matchmakers often deliver their core message in a tagline, a URL, or company name. In a few words, they sum up their mission — whether it’s to give hope or teach social skills — so singles have a clear idea about what they’re getting into.

It sounds easy. It’s not. As a HubSpot slogan tutorial said, “It’s incredibly difficult to be succinct, and it’s especially difficult to express a complex emotional concept in just a couple of words — which is exactly what a slogan does.”

3. Grow Your Influence by Blogging

Consistent blogging helps businesses in a number of ways. It increases the site’s visibility and the team’s authority while giving readers a reason to click, scroll, and interact with the website. By giving free dating advice on their blogs, dating coaches and matchmakers can showcase their expertise and rank in Google for key search terms. That brings traffic and a whole lot of positive attention.

In the blog section, you can answer questions from clients or readers, tell stories about your romantic history, or provide general dating tips. It’s completely up to you. The point is to write what you know, share your expertise, and build trust with potential clients. We recommend updating your blog with new content a few times a week to promote your brand.

“The very nature of blogging makes them ideal for marketing since they provide new content to draw people back.” — TheBalance.com

“The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get from Google, Yahoo, and Bing,” said Mike Lieberman, Chief Marketing Scientist and President of Square 2 Marketing. “If each of your blog posts includes a call to action, you might even generate some leads.”

You can increase online conversions through savvy content marketing. Just put a call to action at the end of your post. Something as simple as “subscribe to my newsletter” or “check out my book” can encourage readers to learn more through various services or products. They obviously like your writing style if they’ve reached the end of your article, so these people likely just need a small push to become full-fledged paying customers.

4. Look at Analytics to Assess Your Strengths & Weaknesses

So you’ve got your site up and running, but how do you measure its effectiveness? You study web analytics. By using analytics solutions, you can see overall trends in web traffic and gain insight into what you’re doing well and what you can improve upon going forward.

Google Analytics is a free service that breaks down just about everything you could ever want to know about your online traffic. Its easy-to-read graphics can tell you where your visitors are coming from, how long they stay on a webpage, and what they click on while they’re there.

By closely monitoring site behavior, you can get a handle on how successfully you are attracting users and converting them to subscribers or clients.

According to MarketingLand, “Your goal here is to pay close attention to how many people are responding to your work, how they’re responding, and how often they’re responding.”

5. Get on Social Media & Start Engaging With People

Social media is a powerful tool for journalists, politicians, and businesses. No matter what industry you’re in, you need to talk to people, and social media gives you a direct line to your customer base. According to Tori Hoffman, Potratz social media strategist: “Americans spend one out of every seven minutes on social media, providing a huge opportunity for small business owners to build a relationship with fans.”

A graph showing time invested in social media marketing

More than 41% of marketers told Social Media Examiner they invest over 11 hours a week on social media campaigns.

Dating coaches and matchmakers (especially those targeting the under-30 crowd) should set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets to attract a following online.

By posing regularly, you can increase your visibility and authority, and it doesn’t cost anything but time. In a Social Media Examiner Study, 92% of marketers said social media was important to their businesses, and 64% said they spend over six hours per week on social media marketing. What’s more, 41% spent over 11 hours per week on social, and 19% spent over 20 hours on it.

Like it or not, you can’t go viral without social media. As an Elcom blog post said, “[Social media] has changed business approach to marketing as now, the consumer holds the power. It’s also based on one of the most effective forms of advertising; word of mouth.”

6. Do Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The internet’s best quality is also its worst quality — anyone can create a website and have a platform for their ideas. As a result, countless voices compete to be heard online. Thousands upon thousands of businesses struggle to grab attention. And often what separates the experts from the wannabes is proper SEO tactics.

You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization: the process of generating organic traffic through an understanding of how search engines prioritize online content providers. But you might not know exactly how it works. Basically, it’s all about the keywords.

Business owners should do keyword research to figure out what keywords relate closely to their brands — for example, “over 50” for senior dating coaches or “long-term relationships” for matchmakers — and incorporate those terms into your content as naturally as you can. You can use WordStream’s free keyword tool to get ideas about relevant terms with a high search volume.

“Choosing a correct and relevant set of keywords can help design a crisp and persuasive advertise for online marketing,” according to an online marketing tutorial on TutorialsPoint. “Mapping the right keywords around the users’ pain points in a hierarchical manner makes an effective website.”

It’s important to get these technical details right if you want to rank high in Google’s search results. But not every lifestyle expert is a tech whiz. So don’t be afraid to hire an SEO expert to help you get your website off the ground.

7. Bolster Your Brand Through Email or Video Marketing

Email marketing offers an effective way to follow up with potential clients who have expressed an interest in hearing your advice or keeping up with your business. Dating experts can put together event updates, quizzes, or general advice in an email newsletter to encourage subscribers to sign up for paid services. This free service often catches people’s attention, and you can even customize it by customer demographics.

“Email marketing is great for engaging customers, but you’re really limiting its potential if you keep it in a silo,” said Ron Cates, Director of Digital Marketing Education for Constant Contact. “The impact of email is undeniable.”

Video is another powerful tool for marketers in the dating industry. Roberto Blake called video marketing a practical way for small business owners to grow their businesses.

Many experts have declared video marketing to be the next big thing. A 2015 Animoto survey found that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and 25% of consumers said they would lose interest in a company that didn’t have a video. That’s a pretty compelling reason to upload some advice clips or tutorials to YouTube.

According to SportMarketing.com: “Online video is the wave of the future, and every business needs to have something on YouTube.”

8. Differentiate Yourself From the Competition

You can learn a lot by studying the biggest names in the dating industry. Successful businesses must be doing something right, presumably, so it can be helpful to see what their branding and marketing strategies are. Maybe you’ll get a few ideas for your own business.

If you’re a local matchmaker or dating coach, you should get a sense of how many other dating experts operate in the area and then figure out how you can make your services stand out to singles seeking help. For instance, matchmakers can organize singles events as a way of networking with potential clients and distinguishing themselves from competitors.

Entrepreneur.com recommends using Google Alerts to find out what the competition is up to. You can type in a company name or a key term (i.e. Seattle matchmaker) to see recent posts, videos, and other content related to your business. You can then set up alerts to come straight to your inbox so you’re always in-the-know.

9. Try Pay-Per-Click Advertising to Increase Traffic

Last of all, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be a game-changing marketing tactic for online businesses. Basically, how it works is an advertiser (that’s you) bids on relevant search terms (remember your keyword research) typed into Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another search engine. If you outbid your competitors, the search engine will list an ad for your site at the top of the page or on the sidebar. You’ll have a sponsored link, and you pay the search engine for every time someone clicks on it.

A WordStream graphic on the average cost-per-click by industry

According to WordStream’s data, the legal industry sees the highest cost-per-click and the dating industry sees the lowest.

The average cost per click (CPC) varies by industry. According to WordStream, the average CPC in dating and personals is $0.19, which is significantly lower than the average price paid by other industry leaders.

“You’ll need to experiment with different keywords, approaches, and budgets to discover which generates the best results for your business,” said the marketing experts at Marketing Donut. “Remember, however, that traffic to your site is not a goal in itself — you need to make sure that visitors are actually buying, or subscribing, or making enquiries.”

You can use pay-per-click advertising as a fast way to boost your site’s traffic and conversions. Go to Google AdWords or Yahoo Gemini! to get started.

“PPC ads can be a cost-efficient way to dip your toe into the online marketing world,” said David Waterman, Senior Director of SEO Strategies at The Search Agency, “and use your marketing dollars to specifically target the regions and terms that relate most to your business,”

Optimize Your Online Presence With a Little Know-How

That’s it! Online marketing may seem intimidating on its surface, but once you get the essentials down, you can expand your reach on the web and increase your bottom line.

Nowadays dating experts have many high-tech tools to help them spread the word about their services and target a specific group of singles. All they have to do is learn how to use them effectively. When it comes down to it, online marketing isn’t all that difficult to master. You can attract thousands of readers, subscribers, and clients simply by understanding your audience’s needs and making yourself available as a helpful resource and a support system.

As Coplex CEO Zach Ferres said, “Every part of your business boils down to people. And by understanding the human element, you’ll be more profitable, lead more effectively, create brand loyalty, close more deals and do better work.”