The best experience someone can have using a dating app is swiping for a friend whose tastes and preferences vary significantly from their own. Using the app for yourself? Swipe fatigue is real – then there’s still all the awkward small talk you have to do.
Lending a hand to those suffering from swipe fatigue is Australian dating service Matchsmith. Founded by Holly Bartter, Matchsmith provides clients with assistance in “navigating their online dating life”.
As Bartter explained, “Matchsmith answers the call of the time-poor, those unfamiliar with dating apps, and anyone wishing for objective advice, feedback and assistance regarding their online profiles and matching approach. “
“Increasingly, we recognise that dating apps give you access to people you may never ordinarily meet in your day to day routine, and it’s the most efficient way to make connections that could grow into a relationship, but putting yourself out there on the dating scene isn’t always so simple as adding a photo and swiping – matchmaking has taken many forms, and this is the update required.”
A user of dating apps herself, Bartter said she could see dating app fatigue develop in friends and colleagues who would get frustrated at having to filter through so many profiles to find a suitable match.
“I always enjoyed taking over their accounts and messaging for them,” Bartter said.
“Having someone take the wheel of your account leaves you free to view your matches without pressure, and then it’s up to them to take the next step. I was also able to match my friends with people they may miss or swipe past, having a very specific guideline for what they looked for.”
Bartter soon found herself turning this into a paid service, which grew organically before officially launching as Matchsmith last year.
There are three different tiers of service offered. For $79, Matchsmith will give you a ‘Profile Polish’, providing feedback and recommendations on profile photos and bios, while the Matches & More service will, for $190, provide profile feedback and ‘matching strategy assistance’, recommending conversation starters and hints for current and potential matches, for up to five matches.
Those that want every step of the process covered can have it for $1500 a month through the All Access Membership service: here, Bartter will match and message with people via the client’s preferred dating app.
According to Bartter, this service sees her take conversations “to the stage of phone numbers being exchanged or dates locked in”. She will report back to clients weekly, with the client left to take it from there and actually, well, go on the date.
“I wanted to offer a range of services that would allow people to engage for some easy to implement tips, or allow for a total handover to take the pressure off and enjoy the in-person dates rather than the messaging and matching prelude,” she said.
Bartter has an introductory call with each new client across the three tiers. Often, she said, this eases any nerves they may have; it helps to know there’s a real person listening to them who will be helping them.
While clients come to Matchsmith wanting help, Bartter said it can sometimes be challenging for them to take all of her advice on board – they’ll often have a photo they particularly love and want to keep on their profile, for example, despite Bartter suggesting removal because they’re wearing sunglasses or it’s a distracting group shot.
“I’ve really refined what photos get a good response in order to best guide my clients whether it be in taking a selfie or going for a professional shoot,” she said.
With Bartter targeting 25 to 65 year olds, she said around 60 to 70 percent of her clients are women who are looking for a long term relationship, and those new to the dating pool who want to meet a variety of people.
Having grown Matchsmith through word of mouth, Bartter admitted that the service can be “a polarising concept” for some.
“It appears to go against the notion of ‘our eyes met across the room…’ but really, online dating is the most effective way to meet someone,” she said.
Bartter acknowledges the competition – matchmaking is nothing novel, after all, while online dating coaches have also risen to prominence. But, she believes the personalised approach she takes is what sets Matchsmith apart.
“I manage profiles to a point where all that’s left is to meet in person, and that’s where the magic happens!”
As she looks to grow the business, Bartter will have to look at bringing a team on board to ensure each client receives that high level of personalisation.
“I look forward to continuing to empower people to jump into online dating – with me as their safety net – and to making online dating a positive experience for all my clients around the globe.”
Image: Holly Bartter. Source: Supplied.