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Erika Ettin is excellent at online dating -- if she does say so herself. Her dance card is pretty well booked between now and forever.
That makes sense, since Ettin makes her living helping other people get dates. The 33-year-old is the matchmaker behind A Little Nudge, a D.C.-based company that guides folks as they navigate this whole online dating thing. Her business began casually.
"My friends started coming to me, well, what are you doing that I'm not doing? So I just started writing their profiles and I thought, I wonder if I can turn this into a business," she says. "And almost three years ago to the day, I quit my job at Fannie Mae and started the business and I couldn't be happier. "
Ettin, a Cornell-trained economist with an MBA from Georgetown, ditched her job at the government-sponsored mortgage giant and struck out as kind of dating intermediary for the digital age. She now helps clients from their twenties to their seventies write better online profiles, select more flattering photos and even reach out to potential dates.
"I'd say most of the people who read the profiles say, Wow, it really sounds like me. And gosh, that's the best compliment I could get," she says.
But why would someone pay a matchmaker when he or she could just get a friend to help out?
"What I add is I meet with every client for an hour. And in that hour, I really get to know you and I really get to know what you're looking for," Ettin says. "And I look at you objectively, whereas you're obviously biased towards yourself. But I'm not. So I want to make sure you're putting your best foot forward, but in a way that makes you really stand out."
Here are some of Ettin's pro tips for online dating:
"Matchmaker, Matchmaker" by Ella Fitzgerald from Whisper Not