Didi Edet: Running a matchmaking platform in Nigeria
Didi Edet is a United States certified and award-winning dating coach in Nigeria. She has been matchmaking for over 7 years but got her certification from the United States in 2015.
The platform Lagosmatchmaker was created as a need for privacy in this dating age. It is a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for singles over 25years to meet like-minded individuals. It has now been extended to every location in the world so we also have clients in Belgium, Dubai and More.
She has her first degree in Economics from the prestigious Howard University and her masters in international strategy from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She also works as a statistician for National Bureau of Statistics and has previously worked as a strategist for NEXIM Bank and a data analyst with Debt Management Office. She decided to go into matchmaking as it is a platform that she is passionate about.
How did you start with lagosmatchmaker?
The platform was created to match single individuals above 25 years but with a huge focus on privacy. I did take a couple of courses in a bid to get certified to be more knowledgeable in this area of expertise.
What is the difference between online dating and using a matchmaking platform?
A matchmaking platform comes with support that an online service might not be able to provide. The platform works manually too so you do get to communicate with actual humans that can give you their perspective on things and not an automated service.
What expectations do your clients have with meeting other single individuals?
They do expect the best. Some expectations are reasonable and some are so out there which is what we call the search for the unicorn. With the new age and availability of options, people don’t put in as much effort to get to know a person and at the slightest view of imperfection, the person wants to move on to the next single individual. The process involves us being transparent and clear on giving dating advice to the clients.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered with a new line of business in Nigeria?
I have encountered a lot of challenges. The fact that matchmaking is fairly new to Nigeria in the business sector means there is no blueprint or previous marketing plan to follow.
This was a major challenge to learn how to market and educate the mass about what we do and the process. We are privacy-focused so we have to explain to clients that we don’t have pictures posted of individuals. Things are done manually which doesn’t make the process as efficient but it leads to better results and we are highly focused on the results.
Another major challenge was getting good staff. That took about a year to find the perfect people that understand the job, get them a little bit of training and it’s been a blessing to have people who genuinely care about the clients as I do.
Another challenge is explaining to people what we do. Some people think we give relationship advice which is not what we do. We focus on the dating aspect of life because this is an area I have been certified in and also as a single individual dating, things in this aspect are fresher to my understanding. We are linking individuals together and that’s it.
Why are you manual in your process instead of automated like everyone else?
Being automated like everyone would be less work for us. I would not even need as much staff in an automated service but we found out after moving from automated back to the manual that our results were higher. It’s just different when you can communicate with a person that talks you through the process and tries to understand the difference between what you want and what you need.
The manual process allows to be like a friend to you introducing you to our other friends and rooting for it to work out.
What are the types of people on the platform?
We have a huge variety of people from various locations and various status. We have singles that have never been married, divorced, widowed and more. Our client base can be described as the working class that may not have a lot of time for social activities so outsource a part of their social life to us.
Can clients see pictures of people before they meet them?
Our platform is privacy-focused so this means privacy is our highest priority. We don’t circulate or post pictures of members. However, we can exchange pictures of members with the permission of that party. We have had a lot of successful matches with this formula so we know it’s something that works for us.
Will they have an unlimited number of people to meet when they sign up?
No, you will have a fixed number based on your membership level and this was done to make people take their matches seriously because, in a situation where you have unlimited matches, we have seen people abuse that by finding little excuses to not give the person a chance because they feel there are a million more at their beck and call so they are not as intentional with their choices.
Is this strictly online?
No, we have an office located in the heart of Lekki and it’s open for enquiries but we have found out that majority of our client base are busy, so we are more efficient with the online network and work faster that way.
What advice would you give to singles out there?
I feel everything you want in life can be achieved if we put the effort into it. If you want a job, you get qualifications and make the effort to apply for it. I feel effort should be applied to dating too as opposed to sitting and hoping for things to magically fall in place, I feel if you want love, but the effort to search for it. We are here to make that an easy process.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I am a certified dating coach with Lagosmatchmaker. We focus on connecting singles above 25 years and letting them enjoy the dating process. We do not divulge into the relationship aspect which is a bit broader. We focus on meeting an individual, having a first and second date.
Why did you go into matchmaking?
Lagosmatchmaker is a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for like-minded individuals and was birthed out of the need for privacy in certain aspects of our lives like dating. A lot of my friends I spoke to wanted to be able to search for a date without leading with who they are.
In this age of Internet fraud, how can one trust online matchmaking?
I don’t think there is any worry with internet fraud with Lagosmatchmaker because it’s not strictly an online matching platform. We do have an office located off Admiralty way, Lekki, Lagos where clients can come in and discuss the process if they so wish. But we discovered that a lot of people don’t have the time which is why a lot of our work is done online.
Who qualifies to consult a matchmaker? And can you be consulted?
Anyone with a busy schedule can consult a matchmaker. I always say it’s the same as outsourcing cleaning or cooking because you don’t have the time to do those things yourself. The same way matchmaking is a service that helps the busy people who have little or no time to socialize and meet someone at their convenience.
Why are men shying away from making the first move?
I would not say men are shying away from making the first move. Men for decades have been told they alone could make the first move but in this new era, women are now able to make the first move so you might find an increase in the number of women searching for a man. Because it’s new and it’s effective than having to choose a spouse out of just the ones that choose you. These days, you can make a choice rather than choosing from your available options.
How should a woman react if she loves a man but feels the man should make the first move?
I would tell that lady to make the move herself because I do believe in communicating what you feel as opposed to being quiet and hoping in some magical way, he should know how you feel.
What are those things that should be put into consideration before going into marriage or a long term relationship?
I stay on the dating aspect of life, not the relationship aspect as I am exploring that myself. Relationships are too broad to try to understand so I rarely divulge into actual relationship discussions or advice.
Any individuals, single and trying to find love can participate. Unlike @lagosmatchmaker that is very focused on privacy, @lmmmixer.ng Is more visible.
The minimum age on the platform is 25yrs. We have currently had an increase in the number of older clients that have signed up. We have a lot of females ages 40 to 55 and males ages 45 to 65. We aim to help everyone find that happiness that comes with companionship.