Interview With Eric Santos In His Book “Shoot Your Shot” And Dating In The Era Of Social Media And Apps.
Have your swiped right or slid in the DMs before? In case you’re not single or you’re living under a rock, I’m talking about either using Instagram or Tinder. If so, there is a book out there that will help you be more successful at doing both.
I’m not joking and its actually pretty damn good book. “Shoot Your Shot”, written by author Eric Santos, is a book about how to meet people in the current dating climate on social media sites like Instagram and dating apps like Tinder.
It’s a short but informative and direct read. It’s not manipulative like other pick up artistry books, it actually caveats in the preface that it’s not a part of the pick-up artistry genre. It’s really just a straight-forward and systematic blueprint on how to meet people on-line and in person.
We were able to ask author Eric Santos a few questions to share with you guys.
Give the readers an overview of the book in a few sentences.
Ok, I’m going to start this interview off by cheating and reciting the blurb on the back of the cover. The book is about how dating has changed dramatically over the last 10 years with the advent of Instagram and Tinder. Today’s dating apps only require that users take ten seconds to look at a handful of your photos before making a decision to swipe right (hot) or left (not hot) on you. Also, the selfie-focused social media platforms of today have made what you look like more important than what you have to say. Social media has had a direct impact on the way people meet in traditional settings such as bars or clubs where it’s more common for a girl to share her Instagram handle with you than her phone number. The book is really about teaching people how to find success in meeting someone/people in both on-line as well as in person.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing books about dating?
I am a technology entrepreneur by trade. I am the CEO of the venture backed startup Benchmark Intelligence as well as a co-founder of the startup HubUx. I also own some other smaller businesses including smelldope.com and a boxing studio. Although being an entrepreneur is my main profession now. I used to be a professional writer back in the day, contributing articles to AskMen, Business Insider, Elite Daily, Yahoo Finance and more. The two niches I focused on were dating and entrepreneurship/business.
Towards the end of last year, I was going through a lot personally, depression as one may say. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. I thought about the idea of the book a year before while helping some close friends acclimate to being single after some long-term relationships and using apps like Instagram and tinder to meet people, who at the time had just gotten out of long-term relationships. The idea really hit me when one of my friends said, “Damn, I know I’ve only been out of the game 5 years, but dating is completely different now”. I decided to take action on that idea and write the book at the end of last year when I was going through a lot.
Was your research for the book all anecdotal or did you reference other sources/research?
Definitely a combo of both. A lot of what I write about is anecdotal to my personal experiences. I’ve been single the majority of my adult life and always have dated consistently with the exception of my two past relationships (each was about a year). I’m 30 now so I’ve had quite a bit of experience to write about in the book. However, even when I’m talking about my own personal experiences, I wrote about them from a very quantitative lens.
In the past, I’ve done extensive A/B testing before on my tinder profile, which pretty much means I tested different types of photos and bios to see what resulted with the most matches. I ended up doing this testing over a span of 600 matches before I deleted the app for the first time and no I wasn’t shot gunning right on everyone either haha. On top of my own research, I cite other publications and articles that did their own research on the online dating industry and best online practices in general.
With all that research talking being said, this shit isn’t rocket science. To summarize my whole book, it’s just about being funny, respectful, confident and direct when shooting your shot.
How often are you shooting your shot?
Not as much as you’d probably think haha. I am definitely calming down as I’m getting older. I still plan on being single for the foreseeable future and will continue to date but I definitely think you can dilute your appeal if you’re trying to talk to every girl out there.
For the times you do shoot your shot, is it mostly on tinder, Instagram or in-person (as you say in your book “the old fashion way”)?
Without having an exact sample set off the top of my head to use for coming up with this ratio, I’d estimate it’s something like 40% in-person, 30% Instagram and 30% dating apps (tinder, bumble, etc.). As you can see, I’m definitely a fan of meeting people the old-fashioned way, which in my case is usually when I’m out on the weekends with friends. However, my last and most serious relationship was a result of the beautiful things can come to fruition when sliding in the DMs on Instagram.
As you have a unique background as an entrepreneur and dating writer, you draw some great parallels between dating and business. For someone who hasn’t read your book yet, can you give a high-level example of those parallels?
In the book, I have two chapters which compare dating to two of the most important principles in business, which are sales & marketing.
In the sales chapter, I try to debunk the misconception that sales this shady, aggressive and purely transactional process that some believe sales is. Sales is simply articulating how your particular service/product can help someone solve a problem or bring value to their life. With sales framed in that light, I take principals that are crucial to be successful in sales and apply them to dating, such as never take rejection personal. For example, you send a message to this person you’ve been following on IG and ask them out, but they never get back to you. You shouldn’t take that personally because the decision to not talk to you wasn’t personal, they don’t know you. Also, you don’t know this person’s back story, maybe they’re currently talking to someone or maybe they just had a really bad day.
In the marketing chapter, I cover the concept of being marketable so that online dating isn’t strictly a one-way street where it’s only you shooting your shot. Instead if you practice being marketable, approachable and a good person, you can have other people shoot their shot at you. I also compare how your Instagram account is a lot like an email marketing newsletter but you’re going to have to read the book to learn more about that.
What do you think are the major challenges of modern dating?
I’d say one of the ugly truths about online dating is that one can hide behind a screen. There are some guys out there who send super rude and distasteful things to girls that they’d never have the balls to say in person. This especially holds true if they feel they are being rejected. These guys are jerks with no confidence and give respectful guys a bad name and unfortunately turn off a lot of people from joining dating apps or being active on social media. Being very direct but always respectful is a theme I cover over and over again in my book.
Who will benefit most from the book?
I originally wanted the book to non-gender specific but when I really analyzed things, it’s much more common for men to shoot their shot than women. Not saying there aren’t brave women out there sliding in DM’s first, but the majority of interactions are initiated by men. Because of this reason, I wrote this book from the male’s perspective, but I’ve had a high number of females purchase and read the book, they all found it super helpful and insightful. I’d say the book is for any single person out there who just wants to get better at meeting people online and in person.
Lastly, where can the find the book? Best place to get in contact with you?
The book is available on Amazon in paperback (amazon prime) and kindle version. Audible version coming soon. The best way to get in contact with me is on Instagram (go figure!) at @ericsantosceo.
Check It Out Now… https://www.amazon.com/Shoot-Your-Shot-sliding-swiping/dp/1733616209
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