Flirting With Learning
I said at the beginning of the year that I would be more than transparent about how I make a living as an entrepreneur and creative. Much of that includes when I win, learn and when I fail at something that I’ve set out to do. I don’t ever make a habit of letting people into my mind, and my thought processes, but I want people to know what it is I do and how in addition to why.
Roughly two years ago, I developed a concept at FlagshipUltra (the creative think-tank and idea lab I “silently” founded in 2008) for a singles mixer. The alpha version (low level, first version) of this concept has become “Flirt After Work”, an after work singles mixer. About 6 weeks ago I decided to test and launch it after “LOVE AFFAIR”, a successful relationship forum I did February 4 with a speed dating component, separate from my flagship event “He Said, She Said”. Ready to move forward, I secured a venue, Johnnies on Broadway in North Albany and began promoting my second speed dating event in the area. I had a wait-list of several women and another 8 women from the initial event.
So when I announced this event for April 14 with Chea-Aria, a Certified Professional Life & Relationship Coach, there was immediate response for pre-registration and requests for us to pick up payment, except this was only from women. In attending over 15 events and networking, while having one on ones with men over the course of the 6 weeks, the thing I heard most from men and only men was:
“I’m not comfortable doing that”
“That’s not my scene”
“I don’t meet women like that”
Various excuses with men waiting until the day of to register by phone or messenger, some men, now wanted to date the women who planned ahead, knew what they wanted and were intentional in decision making. These men, had waited until they were bored, available and found it convenient to give women their time.
I find it very strange that men, in our culture are “brave” and comfortable enough to catcall women and approach them in a manner they’ve never asked for, but feel weird about sitting with women in a safe space while getting to know them. We had 35 women ready to date and signed up to get to know single men around the capital region. So, in short women in the Capital Region are single because men, to be honest are fearful and don’t wish to step outside of their ego.
I’ve learned so much from the alpha test in running the development of Flirt After Work and have decided to change my strategy moving forward about how I’ll attract men & women and their participation in this event.
Moving forward, I spend my time testing the following:
Creating a local meetup group sponsored by FlagshipUltra specific to events in the dating, relationship, food & drinks, intimacy and sex space. We’ve spent a massive amount of time and resources on this and have developed products such as the “99 Dollar Date” for two, “He Said, She Said”, “Flirt After Work” and “Love Affair” knowing over time, some of these products will grow or expand, focus on a really specific target group or inspire new ideas within the industry.
Invest money in targeted Facebook ads toward singles in the Greater Capital Region, expanding my reach beyond just Albany, Schenectady & Troy.
Snapchat Marketing: During large concerts & events, buy filters for the geolocation associated with population density. This benefits us in several ways:
- The event attendee will see a filter for our upcoming event.
- Followers of the event will see the information for “Flirt After Work” through a filter
- Geolocation & live events allows us to follow event attendees posting in dense locations, engage with them and potentially move forward in a sales funnel.
- Marketing costs are low and controllable. I can make the geo-fence large or as small as I want in relation to my budget, accounting for people inside the fence and the opportunity that people that aren’t within the fence may walk into it as well.
Recruit single women, to recruit single men + vice versa. Men love meeting women that they can look forward to seeing again in some capacity, as do women if they’ve made a brief connection. Marketing “Flirt After Work” using women who have actually signed up to meet men and the other way around will give each other the opportunity to peek into what kind of people are participating.
Spend more time around the Capital Region where singles go — open mics, coffee shops, college campus and bars.
I’ll be updating my progress with return on investment regarding these strategies, what other learning opportunities presented themselves & further product development over time.
If you have any ideas for how you would go about tackling the problem, let me know — just the same if you would be interested in getting involved in producing events and products/projects in the dating, love, sex, relationship space/industry.