Back in September 2017 we published the results of a survey of over 100 dating and relationship companies to get the pulse of their business growth as compared to the prior year. We decided to do it again for 2018. And of course even revisiting the business of love and relationships is it still growing ? Of course but who is booming and who is slowing down ?
Many of our readers are in the dating, relationship and coaching businesses. This includes professional matchmakers, dating coaches, life coaches and relationship experts. This time we reached out to over 200 people in these businesses asking a couple of basic questions. As before we communicated with most via messaging on social media.
The first topic was how business was in general, growing or slowing. We asked them to compare 2018 with 2017. In our prior survey we asked how business generally compared between 2017 and 2016 (Last year about 75% said that they were not getting new clients at the rate they had been for 2016). But now for 2018 that the number actually increased now to a whopping 82% !
Lets say that again, the survey of 203 dating / relationship / coaching businesses, comparing 2018 to 2017, only 18% said that business generally was growing faster when compared to the past !
Now to the specifics of how new clients were being generated. Just about everyone used some combination of conferences, social media, referrals from media exposure and other referrals. A select few used podcasts, events, email marketing and even traditional advertising.
We then asked specifically about social media, conferences, press and referrals as to what was working well.
In the dating and relationship business, most of the people we communicated with were frustrated with Facebook given their strict policies on promoted posts and paid ads in the dating industry. With Facebook now in the dating app business, they have become even more restrictive.
Many of the matchmakers and dating coaches still liked networking through conferences. These seem to be great places to catch up with industry peers, but most said it was not a good source for new clients, after considering the time and expense.
For most, press coverage and use of other media (expert blog sites, etc.) was a great way to get a surge and get the word out about their individual expertise. But this was a feast or famine way of promotion.
Finally, previous client or other professional referrals was clearly the #1 source of new clients according to those we communicated with. But is that really the true #1 way to get new clients ?
As before when we then asked about Google searches and yet another big surprise.
This seemed to draw some confusion as some felt that it wasn’t important, others felt they were ranking well, and others didn’t understand why they weren’t coming up to the top of searches like competitors.
Here we drew on some expert help from our publisher. As before they ran some digital audits (this is used to see how one company stacks up against another in the digital world). They looked at social media, SEO (Google rankings) and websites. What they found was very similar to over a year ago, which is mindboggling.
About 81% did not rank well on Google for a variety of reasons, a lot had website deficiencies (which added to the Google search issues) and over half were not using video enough or properly in social media. Our publisher even sent some of the digital audits out which definitely opened some eyes.
The take ways here is: when it comes to advertising there is a very important difference between placing an ad and being visible to someone who is actually searching for your services. When you just run ads, you hope that someone will be interested in your services. But when you are on top of a search over competitors, you get all the people who are actually looking for your service. It’s a huge difference as these are people ready to do business.
What we found really made sense and is something to think about seriously
When they looked closer at the 21% of love professionals who told us their business was growing faster, almost without exception, all had good digital audits (all had good SEO, websites that scored well and/or properly used video in social media). Was this coincidence, luck or science ? Clearly science.
The advice from our experts is pretty simple, become easy to find. We live in a world of instant gratification. Remember about 70% of people search with Google and about 70% click on the top 5 organic search results, not those paid ads on top. Organic (Free) SEO top ranking is the absolute best and most cost-effective way to get new clients and pull ahead of competitors. When people want something, they search for it. If they find your competitor first you lose a potential client.
The next piece of advice from our experts was get noticed more on social media. Use short videos. Put them everywhere, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Place links to the videos on your blog and get referral backlinks.
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us and we’ll set up a free no obligation consultation. Our publisher has worked with over 100 dating and relationship companies worldwide, so they really know this business.
The bottom line, our revisiting the business of love and relationships is it still growing ? Yes, but for those who seem to have their digital act together.