GLR Spotlight is an interview series featuring Matchmakers, Dating Coaches & Relationship Experts
Global Love Report – May 10, 2020
Interviewed by Adrina Ong
About Abi Blears
Abi Blears has been working as a matchmaker and headhunter at the award-winning personalised dating and matchmaking agency in London, Little Black Book. She also works as a dating coach and online dating specialist. Read more about her below!
GLR: Hello, Abi! Please tell us about yourself!
AB: I’ve been working in the dating industry for the last four years. I’m a London based freelance matchmaker and dating coach. I work with Kate Wray at Little Black Book as a Headhunter and Dating Coach and I also work with the UK’s largest dating coaching company Hayley Quinn Dating Ltd as a coach and online dating specialist. I also have my own private coaching clients who I work with independently. I did The Science-Based Coaching Course with The Matchmaking Institute last year because I wanted to bring research-based coaching to my clients.
GLR: What’s the most memorable story in these four years – were there any clients that stood out and affirm your decision to be in this career?
AB: Kate asked me to meet a man who was younger than our usual clientele. She wondered if I thought I could do a targeted headhunt for him. I really liked this guy, his attitude was really positive and realistic and he seemed very open to feedback. He was happy for the process to be a bit slower and I really wanted to help him because he was such a nice person. I encouraged Kate to take him on as a client knowing that it was a gamble and thinking that it would definitely take us a long time for us to find someone suitable. We matched him on the first attempt and he’s now engaged! It reminded me to work with clients based on their attitude coming into the process. Choose your clients wisely but keep an open mind.
GLR: What a great story! Thanks for reminding us to keep an open mind! Is there anything new you have started doing recently since the pandemic?
AB: I have been doing more coaching during the pandemic and working more on my packages. I’ve started to create YouTube content and I have altered my coaching website too, making it more geared towards coaching virtually. I’ve added in two packages and made changes to my existing packages so people can clearly see what the process is and the value. I also set up a Meetup group called ‘Single and Socially Distancing” I host a group zoom event each Sunday. This is a passion project but several people in the group have expressed an interest in working with me in the future.
GLR: What inspired you to start this group and work on your current projects?
AB: My friend is a very successful YouTuber and I have always wanted to master the ability to operate a camera- I’m not tech-savvy at all!! I changed my packages because I realised that they could be more marketable and I would like to be able to coach from anywhere in the world. I would eventually like to create group online coaching courses so that I can increase revenue without increasing my hours! I set up the Meetup group because of a very sad event that happened to someone I knew just before lockdown. I predicted that many singles would struggle during the pandemic and that whilst running off and becoming a nurse definitely wasn’t going to be “my thing” that I could definitely do something to help single people feel less alone.
GLR: That’s incredibly inspiring to hear what keeps you going! Do you have any words of encouragement for fellow matchmakers, dating coaches or newcomers? We would love to hear some of your best practices!
AB: Don’t be an island. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people regardless of whether you’re new or very experienced. I have worked in industries where everyone is in direct competition and find that it can be quite toxic. It might be idealistic but I believe that there are enough single people in the world for all matchmakers and coaches to flourish. The more open you are to connecting with people the better. On a practical level always prepare your coaching sessions and always make your client feel like they are special and cared for, make everything feel personalised, and write EVERYTHING down so you don’t forget it. As for matchmaking, I think communication is everything- especially with tricky clients. If you’re struggling to match someone, reach out to them BEFORE they get a chance to complain about things being a bit slower than anticipated.
GLR: Please share your favourite author or someone who continues to inspire you until today?
AB: The book that inspires me the most is the ‘The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield. I don’t agree with everything he says but it really does put me in a great headspace. ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg is also great. All the people I work with inspire me to some degree but I’m going to say Dr. Terri Orbuch. I think she’s fantastic. She’s been very supportive of me and I really recommend her Science-Based Coaching course for anyone looking to add coaching in with their matchmaking. I think all people who go to matchmakers should also have coaching- not that I’m biased or anything!
GLR: Thanks, Abi! Final question, what does collaboration with your peers in the offline dating industry mean to you? If you have any positive experiences, please share them with us!
AB: I’m very pro-collaboration and always happy to bounce ideas around with people. If I can’t help someone directly I might know someone who can and am happy to connect people. Little Black Book are very pro-collaboration with UK based Matchmakers and we operate in London. I personally coach people from all around the world and have written blogs with American Matchmakers and also connected with several coaches here in the UK.