The similarities between social media and dating are eye-opening. Listening to relationships expert Andrea Syrtash at the “Branding Your Way to Better Relationships: Using the Tools of Social Media to Make You Irresistible” Sobel Media Internet Week event last, it was obvious that many of the same rules apply online and in our dating lives.
Andrea’s new book, “He’s Not Your Type — and That’s a Good Thing” is all about having an open mind about who you’re dating, and going deeper with your checklists. There are over 19,000 relationship coaches in NYC alone, but somehow Syrtash was able to break through the noise and build her brand.
Here are some of her guidelines for “Finding Mr. Right” that also apply to “Finding Your Online Audience.”
Hang Out With People Who Like You
If someone is just not that into you, take the hint! Don’t take it personally; just move on. Stay around the guys and people who like who you really are. “Know where you shine,” Andrea says. If you’re cerebral and shy, a bar is the worst place to meet someone. Know your skill set; become clear on who you are, and on what you value most.
At the same time, share your announcements with the online friends who dig you and make sense for your brand. If you’re all about automobiles and electronics, don’t bug SpaSally with your tweets. Target Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin Groups that match and appreciate your message.
Syrtash pointed out how brands are acting like humans and humans are acting like brands. What is what? The key is knowing your strengths and knowing what makes you different. What do people like about you and respond to? That’s what is going to work in business.
Also, be who are you are on all fronts — whether you’re a brand, person, or girl looking for a date. You’re only an expert in what you know, so don’t ever try to act like someone or something you’re not. Even online, insincerity comes through loud and clear. When dating, make sure you do what you can to tap into your true self — even if you need to take a yoga class that day! Don’t tell the guy what you think he needs to hear. Speak from your truth.
Act Like Your Heros
Look at the brands you admire because they reflect what you value. For example, Syrtash looks at the monumental brand Oprah has created through her self. Oprah is both accessible and authentic, but she has good authority. Follow the brands you admire online to see how they shape and share their message.
In the love realm, why not learn from some of the dating experts in your life? Hang out with married couples you admire, and find out how they make it work.
Cast a Wider Net
Syrtash says to find success in love and life you have to get out of your own way and cast a wider net. Mingle with new and different circles. Stop dating the same type of guys. In fact, she says stop type-casting altogether so you don’t assign characteristics to people you haven’t even met yet! The same goes for your branding. Stay open. Explore multiple platforms: print magazines, TV, radio and electronic sources so you can meet your audience where they’re at. As Syrtash says, “Throw possibilities like spaghetti and see what sticks!”
No one likes a perfect know-it-all. We all go through upheavals in life. In your relationships and dates, don’t be afraid to show your fears and even insecurities at times. That’s when the real connections begin. And online, don’t always be promoting your next event or product. Make sure you’re also sharing what’s going on in your life, good or bad. The funny thing is, most people relate to you more on the challenges in your life. As Syrtash says, “You can’t have intimacy without vulnerability.”
Syrtash believes that you should “worry less about impressing others, and let others impress you” by listening. Everyone seems self-absorbed on Twitter and Facebook, however; she says there’s an important piece of social media that gets ignored, which is Listening. Respond to and engage with your online connections. That’s how you build relationships.
And wouldn’t you know it, listening in relationships — and especially on a date — seems so obvious, but it is often forgotten. How many times have you heard someone go on and on about themselves? It’s a big turn-off. Remind yourself to listen as much as you speak, and then you’ll have a chance for a real connection.
“When you’re with the right match–it’s a feeling, not a thought”, Syrtash says. Don’t try to intellectualize and rationalize everything your date says and does. Either you’re enjoying yourself and want to learn more about him or her or not. In branding, we may rely too much on stats and spreadsheets for the answers. Instinctual thoughts are priceless and usually steer you in the right direction. Yet, most of us ignore these feelings for “facts.”Â Keep an open mind in love and online. “Everything is changing so fast”, she adds. “We have to learn to adapt, to be present and to follow our instincts.”
Building your brand and finding true love are similar in many ways. Andrea Syrtash happens to be on top of her game on both fronts, and we can all learn plenty from the example she sets.