Kindness is key to growing a business.
Samantha Daniels is one of the foremost Professional Matchmakers and Dating experts worldwide. Samantha owns the well-known bicoastal matchmaking service, Samantha’s Table. She is ivy league educated, a former Divorce attorney by trade and she has an uncanny ability to know who goes well with whom. She works with high profile people and celebrities and she has been responsible for thousands finding love. She is also the founder of The Dating Lounge, the first exclusive invitation-only Dating App created by a real and well-known Professional Matchmaker (Samantha) where upscale, successful people find real relationships. She used her expertise from 15 years in the dating industry to tailor-make The Dating Lounge to appeal to her high-end clients and to give them exactly what they were looking for in a dating app- a sophisticated matching algorithm as well as exclusivity, information, accuracy and connections. She is also a frequently relied upon dating and relationship expert on TV on shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, Extra, Access Hollywood and CNBC as well as in print media including NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes and USA Today. She has been a national spokesperson on the topic of making good first impressions in your relationship for Petco,Crest, Oral B and Febreze. She was also a creator/producer on the NBC/Darren Star TV show, Miss Match starring Alicia Silverstone, the show was based on her life story. She is the author of the book, Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker (Simon & Schuster) and a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Thought Catalog.
Where did the idea for Samantha’s Table Matchmaking come from?
After college, I went to law school and then took a job as a divorce attorney. While practicing, I started throwing social gatherings for my friends. At these events, I started to realize that I had a knack for remembering people and little factoids about them that made them unique. I also started matching them with each other off of my intuition that they would be good together. It was not until I realized how unique my skill was that I chose to leave my career as a divorce attorney behind in order to pursue matchmaking full time; after all, it’s much more rewarding helping people get together than helping them break apart!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually wake up around 7am and begin my day by scrolling through Facebook for updates, reading several newspapers online and checking email. After getting my family ready and the kids off to school, I start work around 9am. I have created a focused office space for myself in my home so I can be very productive. I often have consultations scheduled later in the afternoon and drinks or social events planned for the evening, since a large part of my job revolves around networking.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am the type of person who is constantly coming up with new ideas, so much so that I am still an old-fashioned “carry a notebook with me at all times” gal. I have been very successful with bringing my ideas to life, largely because I know how to utilize my social connections and brainstorm collaboration ideas that benefit all parties. I am also very persistent, which means that I refuse to give up on a good idea until it comes to fruition.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Right now, I am intrigued by the marketing capabilities of Facebook Live. I used it for the first time recently at two different events. First, at an event I hosted with Saks and YSL Beauty in NY and then another time at my event at Unplug Meditation in LA. I received a large amount of positive feedback and had many people watching. I tend to use social media heavily in my business, so I am excited to try new channels and see how they affect my brand.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am great about staying in touch with old contacts. This is essential for me because it helps me further my image, develop exciting partnerships and helps me to constantly find new and interesting matches for my clients. I have created such an extensive network at this point that I know someone in virtually every industry. Maintaining these bonds is the best way to create new content and spread awareness about my brand.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your gut. When I first transitioned from my stable career as a divorce attorney to focus on my matchmaking business, I was questioning my decision mostly because I was choosing to do something so unusual. Venturing into an unknown area was a scary prospect, but it paid off in the end. I would reassure my younger self that I was on the path to success and that unique and different is what makes someone stand out and excel. I would also tell my younger self to always stay true to yourself and follow your passions and dreams; if you believe in yourself, you can usually get others to believe in you as well. Now, it has been 18 successful years since I started up as a matchmaker, so I would say that I made the right decision.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always try to send a thank you after a helpful meeting or event. Kindness is key to growing a business. Whether it is a quick thank you on Facebook or a personalized, handwritten note in the mail, it is critical to emphasize thanks. You never know if and when those people could help you further down the road.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Networking, both in person and online, is the lifeblood of my business. From the start, I spread the word about my services through friends and acquaintances. Without this effort, I know I never would have achieved my long-term success. I spend a significant amount of time each and every week meeting with new colleagues and clients as well as reaching out to old contacts to keep up those bonds.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a ticket to an event recently in NY. The night of the event, I really didn’t want to go to because of bad weather, but I pushed myself because my grandmother always told me, “You get invited, you go because you never know who you are going to meet.” I wound up meeting 2 new clients that night and connecting with an old friend about collaborating on an exciting new project. If I hadn’t gone, none of these would have happened!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I could not do business without Google Apps. From emailing clients to storing information to interacting with my staff in real time, I utilize nearly every aspect that Google has to offer. I particularly love Google sheets and Google Drawings. I am so thankful that it allows me to work on projects wherever I am, since I travel frequently between NY and LA.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Not to toot my own horn, but I highly recommend everyone read my book “Matchbook: Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker “(Simon & Schuster). Not only is it a fun beach read, but it also contains insightful romance and life tips that will benefit anyone looking to find or maintain a lasting relationship.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can bend but never break me, cause it only serves to make me, more determined to achieve my final goal.”
-Helen Reddy, lyric from the song “I am Woman”
Samantha Daniels on Twitter: @matchmakersd
Samantha Daniels on Instagram: @samanthadanielsdatinglounge
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.