It’s past time for me to update you about some changes in my career.
Six years ago when I started writing to you about the art, science, and strategy of things like attraction, dating, flirting, and interpersonal communication, I was pursuing a calling to help single men and women have happier, healthier social and romantic connections. I was on a mission to help you generate more love – within yourselves and with others.
I took my message to social media, to blogs and magazines, to radio, podcasts, live events, and TV. I coached single men and women in things like; how to identify and manage their blind spots, overcome limiting beliefs, and stop their self-sabotaging behaviors when it came to dating and forging relationships.
I listened and empathized sometimes and other times I pointed, prompted and prodded (tough love!) I invited men and women to events, edited their dating profiles, I wing-womaned, I introduced people to need-to-know individuals and groups. Offered strategic action plans, checked up on them to see if they were following them, and tweaked things to get them just right.
What I didn’t see coming was the need for my knowledge, connections, and soft skill set within the business arena.
As I developed a large network both here at home and across the country, I started fielding questions from people who heard me speak or met me at a conference and later reached out to say, “You know, you are so much more than The Date Maven.”
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this. I mean, on the one hand, I took it as a compliment that they saw other attributes in me that extended beyond the sandbox of dating & relationships. On the other hand, I had worked very hard to establish The Date Maven brand. I was accustomed to people in other markets embracing it and people here at home being pseudo-skeptical of it. So, I wasn’t sure what they were trying to convey to me and if I was ready to listen!
But the messages kept coming… and from so many different corners that I could no longer ignore it.
They said things like, “Sure, the things you teach make sense in a dating or social context, but they also apply to my office!” Or, “I wish I could hire you to work with my sales team, but I’m not sure how my supervisor would react to getting an invoice with the words ‘The Date Maven’ on it!”
They even got a little blunt with me: “Why are you tying yourself to this one little niche of dating? You could have so much more impact if you went broader with your branding.”
The truth stings sometimes, doesn’t it?
So, I did some soul-searching.
Wichita, KS-based companies and companies across the western states had been asking me to help them connect with their customers, their prospects, and even their internal constituents (staff, shareholders, etc.) in a more evocative and genuine way. In a way that would feel more real and less rah-rah. They were asking me to imbue their departments, their sales forces, their executive leadership with a plethora of intangibles.
They were asking me questions like this:
We have a great sales team, but they could use a little polish. They know the product but we’d like to see them present better – you know, be a little more poised, a little more sophisticated. It’s a high-end product and we’re selling to an elite clientele, so we need our sales staff to reflect that and be that. To walk, talk, and dress in a way that’s more elevated. Can you teach that?
(I have and I can and I love that stuff.)
I have to represent my company on a panel presentation at a conference next month. Can you help me get my talking points ready? And work on my delivery?
(Absolutely. Let’s set you up as the preeminent expert in your field!)
My staff is outstanding in terms of the “technical” aspect of their work performance, but they need a little help with just connecting with our patients, being warm and hospitable, and building rapport. Patients have a lot of choices in our industry and we want to give them more personalized attention. Can you teach my people how to have a better bedside manner?
(Yes, I can.)
Those are examples of businesses that were seeking something beyond sales training, something beyond customer service training, they were looking to elevate their game just a little bit more.
I also started fielding requests like this . . .
We have this amazing new beauty product that women just love… but we don’t seem to be able to reach enough women. Would you use it and if you like it, would you share it with your social media audience?
(Um, ok, let’s talk!)
We have a fundraiser coming up and need a lot of people to buy a lot of tickets. We don’t have a very big following on Facebook yet and we don’t have the budget for a full-time social media manager… Could you post or tweet or create a story about our cause? You have a built-in following!
(Happy to have a conversation about what that might look like!)
All of these organizations have something in common: They saw the value I place on my personal principles of beauty, truth, self-expression, and human connection. They saw how using data and narrative, how using genuineness and positive energy could impact their organizations.
Here’s the thing:
I've ALWAYS possessed interpersonal intelligence -- before it was even a buzz-word or we knew to value it. And in the modern age, it's as important as ever because while new technologies keep us connected and informed, the connection often feels insincere, unnatural, contrived, and sales-y.
And at the same time, there’s a whole generation of people who’ve grown up so centered in and wired around technology, they often don’t have the soft skills that bring the human element to an interaction. They don’t know how to read people, they don’t know how to respond, they don’t know how to be socially intuitive or socially gracious.
So. I took a deep breath, had a major pow-wow session with my social media coordinator, did some brainstorming and . . . viola!
A new brand is born. Here it is: www.suzannamathews.com
You may have also noticed some brand changes slowly but surely making their way into my online platforms. There’s a Public Figure page on Facebook and it will have a different look and different content than The Date Maven Facebook page.
To be clear: The Date Maven isn’t going away. It will stand side by side with the Suzanna Mathews brand -- Both serving to help people form meaningful and mutually beneficial connections.
How does this change my day-to-day life? In addition to serving as your dating coach and matchmaker, I increasingly spend my time educating, entertaining and repping brands -- either as a micro-influencer, speaker/spokesperson, or brand ambassador. This happens on-camera (as it has for over 2 decades) and live; it also happens on my Websites, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube presence.
If you’ve been reading my blog feed and digital magazine articles for a while, don’t worry, I’ll keep them coming!. If you’re a fan of Flirty Friday on Facebook Live at 4:00 pm every Friday, those shows aren’t going away either. You’ll still get dating tips and trends here as well as invitations to events designed for single men and women.
But there will be new friends and faces joining my audience. Some will have dating & relationship on their hearts. Some will have marketing/branding on their minds. Others will be looking for an emcee for their special event. Still others will want to know how to get “camera-ready” (or “microphone-ready) for their media interviews. And yet others will be looking to get the professional development needs of their teams met.
Look at it this way:
I can help you activate desire in the heart and mind of the man or woman who is the object of your affection and put your best foot forward with them.
Or, I can help you activate desire in the heart and mind of your audience and your consumer and put your best foot forward with THEM.
Either way, there’s an emotional response we're aiming for. There’s a “courtship” that leads to a “buying decision.”
Influencer marketing is everywhere and it’s here to stay. Training & development programs for high-performance teams are increasingly in demand. My added direction is designed to help companies and business professionals elevate their game in order to stay current, competitive, and distinctive.
I ask that you share this update with your friends in marketing/PR and HR as they may not be aware that I’ve stepped into this space just yet. My brand is a perfect fit for a wide variety of products and services that support an elevated image, personal growth, and a juicier, more jubilant lifestyle.
Thanks for your encouragement, your friendship, and your business over the years. I’ll be calling many of you soon to catch up and just to say I miss you. . .
P.S. Connection + Audience + Integrity = Influence. I can teach you how to work this formula in your own life too!