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How to market yourself to dates

Brie Gatchalian is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. When she's not writing about fashion and beauty, she researches topics related to relationships and mulls over her own love life. She'll be the first to admit she doesn't hav...

Closing the deal

Dating is a lot like marketing. You're kind of selling a product (yourself - but not in a literal way), and your potential suitors are the buyers. Will they 'buy you' and take you out on a date? Or, will they deny you for the next 'product' out there? It's all in your hands. If dating is like marketing, it's time for you to put your best self forward. Need to know the tricks of the trade? Read on...

Woman on Date

Package Yourself

Stacey Smith, author of LipstickGhetto.com, reminds what Steve Harvey said in his book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man: as a single woman you are the product and your packaging (how you dress) is the main tool for positioning yourself in the best light and 'weeding out' unqualified buyers. "The right man wants a woman who knows how to wear her sensuality with class and style," Smith points out. "Dressing like a librarian is not the way to go, and neither is dressing like you work at a strip club. Find a happy medium that lets men know that you respect yourself, yet are not a stick-in-the-mud. Your presentation is of the utmost importance."

Carry Yourself with Confidence

Ming Gregory is a professional matchmaker at Color Blind International, a dating agency headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, says your self-esteem can be your best weapon. "When a woman is confident in who she is -- not in what she has, owns or is worth -- it gives off immediate attraction signals," Gregory explains. "Men love women who are genuinely confident people. They can see when its pseudo-confidence dressed in sexy clothing, a fancy title or purple labels." By the same token, Gregory warns that men looking for partnership are turned off by wanna-bes and women who constantly complain and compare themselves to other women. "By being okay with who you are and using that confidence as your best marketing tool, you'll get dates -- hopefully good ones at that -- before you know it and without any effort," Gregory adds.

Don't Lie

This notion goes with any business practice -- marketing or dating. "The key is not to falsify your traits. People hate that," says John Wilder, marriage, relationship and sexual coach. "If you are dishonest in the beginning, how are you supposed to build a foundation of trust in the relationship?"

Nail Down Your Desired Outcome

Sally Landau, a certified life coach who specializes in dating and relationships, believes that many people are dating frenetically without any real understanding about what a relationship would mean to them. Landau suggests they consider what they want -- in marketing this would be the desired outcome. "Have a clear picture of that Mr. Right so you don't keep shopping in the wrong department," she points out. Once you know what you want, you can show yourself off. "Know who you are, your strengths, your attributes, cute stories you're willing to share," she explains.

Go Get 'Em, Tiger

"Get out of the house," Landau advises. As they do in marketing, you have to search for leads. "No one is knocking on your door -- be willing to do 'the work,'" she says. "Participate in activities you love by yourself, and where men frequent, as well. Even if you don't meet someone, you've come home a winner."

Expand Your Horizons

Once you find a date, don't just stop there. You should shop around. "Identify and expand your target market," advises Jasbina Ahluwalia, relationship expert and founder and president of Intersections Matchmaking. "Since identifying the company's target market is an integral part of an effective marketing campaign, companies often expend considerable resources doing so." So why wouldn't you when finding the love of your life? This will increase dating effectiveness, Ahluwalia adds. She would define this as landing more dates to have a greater possibility of actually leading to relationships. "I suggest women invest time and energy in identifying their target market," she explains. "The first step in identifying one's target market in dating involves identifying your must-haves and deal-breakers."

More dating advice on Sheknows

10 Easy ways to gain more confidence
Finding your match
Top 10 ways to pick up a guy

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