standard SL 54 – Find your Significant Other with Dana Michel from Marriage Material

Dana Michel is the founder of Marriage Material, a dating website specifically for people looking for their significant other. What’s different about Dana’s website is that it’s for people looking to settle down with a special someone and it is not catered to people who are looking for short-term flings. Dana explains what her website is about and how it works on today’s show.

Key Takeaways:

[2:10] People on dating websites tend to be looking for a one night stand. Marriage Material is different.

[3:30] What does Marriage Material do differently?

[4:15] What is an amateur matchmaker and how does it work?

[7:10] How do matchmakers make money?

[12:15] In this day and age where people Google your name, clean up your social media a little bit.

[14:40] Have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

[15:50] What are some tips to writing a good profile?

[17:50] Dana choose cities with long working hours to help people find love.

Mentioned In This Episode:

http://www.marriagematerial.co/

Tweetables:

All of us have a little inner cupid in us.

The member dues are $35 a month and it’s month to month.

People just assume that things would happen organically and it hasn’t and so they need an extra helping hand.

Transcript

Jason Hartman:

Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome Dana Michel to the show. She is the founder of Marriage Material, a unique online dating site that employs some of the newest, coolest, principles to help people find their true love. Dana, welcome, how are you?

Dana Michel:

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on.

Jason:

It’s good to have you. Hey, give our listeners a sense of geography, you’re in New York, is that correct?

Dana:

Yes, I am. We started in New York and we’ve started out to role out our services to different cities across the nation.

Jason:
So, when you say that, you’re rolling it out into different cities. Is it not in every city or every geography? I mean, by virtue of being online, you’d expect that, but your model is a little bit unique, isn’t it?

Dana:

Yes. So, we started to role it out to city case by case, because we wanted to make sure we were able to service each city and that there were enough people in the system to have enough people introduced our members to. So, we didn’t want to role it out without actually having enough people to match.

Jason:

Before we dive into the uniqueness of your whole system, which is pretty cool. I want to just talk generally about dating, about mating, about marriage, about forging long term committed relationships and the most important part of that is obviously finding the person. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s sourcing that human being that you know, and maybe getting just, you know, as the old saying goes, I hate to be cliche here, but just getting up to bat more often so you meet more people, right? Tell us about your thoughts on that and I think that’ll be a good lead in as to how you founded this company.

Dana:

Well, it’s a combination of quantity and quality. There are plenty of sites out there where you can meet quite a few people that are looking for casual relationships, but when you’re ready for substantial relationships, you need to meet like-minded people and so what my site tries to do is eliminate the guess work in that if you’re on the site, it’s very clear that you’re looking for a significant other, that doesn’t mean that the first person you go on a date with will end up being your significant other, but at least you are like-minded.

Jason:

Okay, okay good. How do you come to found this company? What was the problem that you saw there?

Dana:

Well, interestingly enough – well, two things. One is the fact that many of us work ten hours a day and it’s very difficult to go out and meet new people and increase our circle. So, I wanted to do that, but also I found that there was a huge difference between men and women and their perspective about finding, you know, a long term mate. So, with men, when a man declared that he was looking for, is looking for someone significant, we as women find that so attractive, because the man is confident, he is sexy, he is self-assured, he knows what he wants. On the other hand, women, when they put it out there from the first date, they come across as being too desperate. So, I wanted to take away that awkwardness by creating this site.

Jason:

Okay. So, what does the site do that fixes these problems?

Dana:

Okay, well first is the fact that it’s out in the open that both people are looking for a relationship, but the other thing is that we use crowd sourcing. So, for those that don’t know what crowd sourcing is. You actually use it everyday when you go on Yelp to find out about a restaurant review or when you’re looking for a hotel accommodation or travel plans and so we’ve incorporated that into our service and so we have amateur matchmakers that will receive your profile and attempt to make you with people in their inner circle. So, the nice thing about that is while you may not know the amateur matchmaker, you are meeting someone through a vetted process, which for most of us gives us a higher level of comfort.

Jason:

Okay, so define amateur match marker. Who is an amateur matchmaker? Am I an amateur matchmaker?

Dana:

Yes! I’ll use an example. You are a person who could potentially be a matchmaker and the fact that you, I’m sure, have a friend or colleague or associate that is a really good guy or female that deserves to be happy and looking for love, they just haven’t met someone and so you could potentially introduce them to someone on my site when you look at the profiles, you know. Let’s say the person says they are an avid skier and very family-orientated. Some of the deal breakers and must haves that are listed and you say, you know what, that is perfect for my friend, John, and you can introduce the two potentially.

Jason:

Okay, so basically what your system does is it sort of lists and ignites these amateur matchmakers to go to work for people that have profiles on your website? Why would they do that?

Dana:

Well, here’s the thing about it. First of all, we’re accustomed to giving our opinion and helping people out, but you get to play cupid and you also have the potential of financial reward. So, that’s really nice, because that means when someone is reading a member’s profile, they have a little more skin in the game.

Jason:

Are those amateur matchmakers also on the site with profiles looking for mister or misses right also or do they play another role completely?

Dana:

They certainty can be, because you could be a matchmaker, an amateur matchmaker and also look for love, because you know people in your circle, but you’re still looking for love or be completely separate. We have quite a few people actually that are in significant relationships that want to introduce other people to other nice people so that they can have the opportunity of finding love as well. I think all of us have a little inner cupid in us.

Jason:

What kind of financial reward do they get? I mean, is it enough to entice them or?

Dana:

Well, as a member you have a monthly membership fee and you can decide how much you’re willing to pay a potential matchmaker to introduce you to a first date. We’ve capped it so that it is uniform and that it is there for everyone. So, we’ve cap it at $50. So, anywhere from $20-50. So, it’s really more than it’s a nominal fee, but it just makes it more fun if the end someone is entitled to a reward.

Jason:

Okay. So, it’s just a small reward then, yeah, okay.

Dana:

And then what’s also great about this, which I wanted to bring to your attention is, if you hire a matchmaker, first of all, the fees can be exorbitant, but addition to that, a matchmaker has a fine net list of people that they an introduce you to. Where as when you’re talking about crowd sourcing, you’re actually opening yourself to a global community and in that case, you increase your chances of meeting someone.

Jason:

I’m curious about the financial reward side. That’s really interesting. You know, I’m a capitalist, okay, so do they get that reward for setting up dates or introductions or only when you form a relationship or marry the person or how does that work?

Dana:

We have three steps, right, because again, we just wanted it to be, we want everyone to have a good time in the process and to actually read the profiles as oppose to just introducing people randomly. So, we have three relationship milestones. One is first date, second is exclusive and then the third is engagement. Let’s take the first date, so if I make an introduction to you and you go and you communicate with someone and you guys decide to go on a date, then after that I am compensated for that. If you communicate and decide not to go on a date, then no, I’m not compensated for that.

Jason:

So, the compensation has to come out of the member dues, right?

Dana:

Yes.

Jason:

And how much do they pay to be on the site?

Dana:

The member dues are $35 a month and it’s month to month.

Jason:

Much more reasonable than some matchmaker that wants 5 grand or something.

Dana:

Absolutely, you can’t compare it.

Jason:

5 grand with no promises and  a lot of people get ripped off.

Dana:

And the fine print always says no guarantees. So, it’s definitely very cost effective to go through MarriageMaterial.co

Jason:

Right, but when it’s $35 per month. If someone gets $20 to $50 for every date they setup, is that what you said?

Dana:

Oh, okay. So, yes. It depends, right, because you may select based on your budget to do $20 and I may select $50. I’ve tapped in at $50, so that we don’t have one person who’s willing to pay hundreds of dollars to be setup on a first date and another person is only willing to pay $5, because the one at the upper level will receive more attention.

Jason:

Yeah, you want to sort of equalize it a little bit, but you pay, you pay $35 for the website membership and then you pay the additional incentive to the matchmakers, right?

Dana:
Yeah, exactly.

Jason:

Ah, got it. Okay. Good. What else did you want to say about that?

Dana:

Oh no. I just wanted to clear that up, that’s an addition to.

Jason:

Okay, great. So, in other words, someone might go on your site, pay $35 per month and have ten dates per month set up by matchmakers and spend 200 to 500 on those ten dates, but they’re going to have real dates, right?

Dana:

Absolutely.

Jason:

Well, that’s not bad. Do men and women pay or is this a typical chauvinistic thing where only the men pay?

Dana:

Nope, it’s equal opportunity. Both men and women pay and what we try to do also is create an environment in which people feel comfortable, so after a date takes place we send out, for lack of a better word, a feedback form or survey and we ask the date and the member, you know, did you have a good time, did the person behave inappropriately, did the person represent themselves accurately, because that’s one of the biggest complaints on websites that, you know, when they actually met, they don’t look anything like the picture.

So, we go through the whole list of things and if someone does not behave appropriate or is misleading, then we block them from the site. Where as on some of the competitor’s site. If it doesn’t work out with one person, we just kind of move on to other people within the site and they start the whole process all over again. We would definitely block someone if they did not behave appropriately.

Jason:

Just out of curiosity, what is ‘not appropriate’ or, you know, like, give some examples, I’m kind of curious on that. You said misleading also. I mean, isn’t everybody misleading people when it comes to love?

Dana:

Well, let’s say we embellish. We may embellish. We try to put a good foot forward, but putting a good foot forward is very different from, you know, either being too pushy physically or asking for, you know, financial information or just different things that other people have fallen prey to on the other sites. I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen or at least that was minimized within in Marriage Material.

Jason:

Alright good. So, what else can you tell us about either how to work with your system the best or the way dating should be?

Dana:

Well, if I could give you a couple of tips about dating, the first is, we live in a time when the moment you meet someone or you hear their, you start Googling the name. So, make sure, I would tell your listeners to make sure that they revisit and update all their social media on a regular basis, because whether they put up a photo or someone tags them in a photo, they want to make sure that they’re reflected in a positive light and so if you have multiple pictures of your ex or you have inappropriate pictures of scantily clad women, you need to take those down immediately.

Jason:

Alright. So, that’s a good tip. Okay. That’s a fine line, by the way. People want to appear desirable and part of desirability is the concept of social selection, right, pre-selection, especially for men. Do you think there should never be any pictures with other women or a little bit of it? That’s a real fine line, I know.

Dana:

Well, I think you have to use good judgment, right, because if you say you’re looking for someone significant, then you don’t want to have lots and lots of pictures of just one woman that you, taking vacations with and that you’re obviously very much in love with.

Jason:

That you can’t get over, you know, ex, right. That’s bad.

Dana:

Right, exactly. So, basically the person that you’re looking for is, you know, second. So, no one wants to feel that way, so I would say to them to just take a look at it and use good judgment and when in doubt, take it down. That’s my rule of thumb and the other thing is as you go online and you meet people, make sure that you don’t fall for for the false sense of intimacy, because when you’re behind a computer, many times people feel like they know each other really, really well. So, after you’ve communicated maybe a week or two, if there’s still interest in both parties, you should really make a point of meeting each other face to face.

Jason:

Okay, so when you pay the matchmakers by the way, you only pay them on dates that both parties accept or dates that actually happen. How do you do that?

Dana:

It’s dates that actually happen.

Jason:

Yeah, okay, so you pay after the date, right? So, if the date is a no-show, then you don’t pay right?

Dana:

Right, exactly.

Jason:

Okay. And how do the matchmakers work? What do they do? Do they go on there and say, hey, you would be good for this profile and post a link of that profile or how do they do that? Just give us the mechanics of that a little bit.

Dana:

Okay, so as a matchmaker, you go on, you sign up and you sign up for free and you can determine what site search criteria, so you’re interested in matching people that live in New York between the ages of, you know, 30 and 35 and there’s some other criterias and so you choose those fields and then on a daily basis or a weekly basis you will receive an email with people who are looking to be matched and when you see their profiles, you can then say, you know what? My friend Jake or my friend Erica would be perfect for this person and then you make an introduction. So, we try to keep it as simple as possible.

Jason:

Okay. Cool. Good, good. Any other tips that you want to share about the very difficult world of dating and selection and things like that?

Dana:

Yes. I think you need to be really clear and we have this on the site. We divide it by your five must haves, your five nice to haves, and your five deal breakers and you should really give some thought to it, because what your must haves perhaps in your early 20s may not be the same as in your 30s. I’ll speak for myself, when I was a certain age, the person had to have a certain height and now my, and that’s nice to have, but now my must have is someone that I can communicate with and spend time with and that has the same values. So, it changes over time.

Jason:

Yep, so I guess all of us hopefully go a little less shallow over the years, is that a fair statement?

Dana:

Absolutely.

Jason:

Yeah, okay. So, any other examples of must haves and so forth? That’s good.

Dana:

Well, you must have – if you’re very, if you want children, then you need to be very clear about that and I would say to anyone who is not looking for children, maybe because they don’t want children or because they already have children, that you should not spend time with someone who definitely wants children. No matter how much you care of them and you think that they have a tremendous amount of potential, that would be a deal breaker.

Jason:

Yeah, it’s not fair to them either. You have to cut them loose if you’re not in the, you know, because you’re wasting their time, especially when the dynamic is male and then the female wants to have kids and there’s obviously limited time there. So, what are the best ways to craft an online dating profile? I mean, you know, the all important thing of what you say, how you say it, you know, trying to appear funny in text format isn’t easy.

Dana:

No, it’s not easy at all and on our profile I’ve actually eliminated that. I asked certain questions and I ask you to list your deal breakers and your must haves because I think that that provides more insight and also I know myself when I’ve tried other sites, I’m trying to create a profile can take a very long time, but I would say if you’re creating a profile to be as upbeat as possible and make sure that you put a nice picture that represents you. If you’re a person that never wears a suit, it doesn’t make sense to put yourself in a suit and if you are a women, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, although you’ll get a lot of responses putting yourself in a bikini either. So, you know, you definitely have to find a happy medium that reflects who you are, because that’s the first impression that a person will have.

Jason:

Right, absolutely. Okay, good. So, be yourself, you know, don’t put on airs. What else?

Dana:

I would say that you should be really witty, but not sarcastic. So, try to be lighthearted versus either somber or you know, for a lot of people, the fault position is to be dripped with sarcasm and that never reads well.

Jason:

Yeah, okay. It just doesn’t come across in text, but can come across is words, right?

Dana:

it can, but I would also say, I would advise someone even in person, when you first meet someone to keep the sarcasm to a minimum, because you go from being funny and witty to being mean and sarcastic and, you know, people will make a judgment in the first 30 seconds, so you want to – everyone wants to spend time with a nice person, particularly when you’re dating, you’re kind of vulnerable, so you want to be liked and you want the person to like you.

Jason:

What cities are you in? Talk to us a little about geography and maybe why you chose various geographies.

Dana:

Yes, so, I choose the major cities. I choose Boston, New York, DC, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I chose those cities, because those are the places were unfortunately the work hours are really, really long and for a lot of people in those cities, they just assume that things would happen organically and it hasn’t and so they need an extra helping hand.

Jason:

Give us those cities again? LA, Houston, what did you say, New York, I think, right?

Dana:

Chicago, Washington, DC, Boston, and also Miami as well.

Jason:

Do you think it’s largely about working too much? Is that’s one of the major problems that people are just too darn busy?

Dana:

And although technology was suppose to help us, in some ways, it’s just overloaded us. So, we never turn off.

Jason:

Yep, that’s true, that’s true. It’s the modern condition, isn’t it? It really is. Well, the website is MarriageMaterial.co. That’s .co, not .com. .co and Dana thank you so much for joining us.

Dana:

Thank you very much for having me. Have a good evening.

Announcer:

This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.hartmanmedia.com or email [email protected] Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.

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