A few sips of coffee into your first date, and you find yourself contemplating whether this interaction is worthwhile. Do you have the same interests? How many boxes on your proverbial (or actual) checklist does this person fulfill? Could you see him or her getting along with your friends and family? Instead of torturing yourself with a futile game of 20 Questions, ask yourself this: How can you avoid setting yourself up with a dud in the torrid game of online dating? The answer: personal branding.
From Left Swipe to Facebook Official: Personal Branding & Online Dating
There’s a saying in our industry: If you can’t market yourself, how can you market anyone else? After all, there is no product, service, reputation, or entity you understand better than yourself. At HZ, our clients trust us with their dearest possession—their brand.
The process is strikingly similar to dating—sharing your most intimate qualities, desires, and dreams with another person, hoping they have some value-add that might just help you reach some predetermined happiness KPI. Okay, so maybe it's not that business-y, but in both instances, there is an understanding that entering this relationship is beneficial to both parties. So, how do you present yourself in the digital dating scene in a way that communicates who you are and what you have to offer? Just follow the rules of strong, effective branding—a clear visual identity, an authentic voice, and messaging that clearly communicates your value.
A brand’s visual identity is key to maintaining top-of-mind awareness and recall. What is an aesthetic or point of view you can own? What kind of visual identity communicates the essence of your values? Turning these brand-development questions inward can help you to market yourself to the ideal target market, putting you in line with your Prince/Princess Charming.
The look and feel of your images is just as important as the subject of the images. When developing a personal brand, always ask yourself what it is you’re trying to communicate. Are you a business professional with a quirky affinity for video game culture? A free-flowing creative type who prefers the company of kittens over people? Serious and intellectual, or relaxed and offbeat? The subject matter and aesthetic quality of the imagery you use to define yourself in the digital realm can dictate how you’re initially perceived.
A brand voice is the compilation of verbiage and tone used across all of a brand’s communication platforms. A voice can be off-the-cuff and funny like Totino’s, a mysterious first-person perspective like Hilton’s Curio Collection, or a myriad of other personalities. Your personal brand’s voice is shaped by the subjects you follow, the interests you list on your profile, and the attitude behind each and every post.
When beginning the adventure into online dating, you’ll come across a lot of profiles that lack a voice. Nothing witty, nothing to grab your attention, nothing that inspires you to seek more. Ultimately, that’s the goal, right? This principle holds true whether you’re updating your site profile or prepping for next week’s brand strategy brainstorm. Keep your communication style consistent, find ways to be engaging while maintaining authenticity, and always ladder back to your target market.
You’ve selected your best profile pics and written a charming bio. Now it’s time to deliver. The final step to crafting and communicating your personal brand is determining the value. What do you bring to the table, in terms of value? What does your target audience value? For a brand, this might be the ideal of empowering women with a healthier self image, as seen in Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. For you, this could be your love of cooking, exploring art museums, travelling to faraway places, or discovering local hotspots. The answer will influence the subjects you choose to highlight in your profile, or to your audience.
However you choose to define yourself, know that there is an audience out there waiting for you to resonate with them. A single profile is all that someone has to pique his or her interest in you — so be sure to make it authentic. Make it engaging. Make it you.
Looks like you could use a refill on that coffee. Care to join me?