Agape Match CEO Maria Avgitidis, better known as “Matchmaker Maria,” debuted the first three episodes of her much sought after podcast this week, “Ask a Matchmaker.”
The podcast immediately hit the top 20 relationship podcast charts, reaching #16 in the United States and #1 in Greece, according to Chartable, a podcast measurement company.
Each week, Avgitidis and her special guest answer dating and relationship questions in front of a live (virtual) audience. The origins of “Ask a Matchmaker” began on Instagram.
“Two years ago, I started answering dating questions from my followers on my Instagram stories every Wednesday,” Avgitidis said. “When COVID hit the United States, I recognized that my audience had so many more questions that needed to be answered but with more context than text offered.”
“No one knew how to navigate dating and relationships during Stay at Home orders,” the matchmaker said. “I began hosting ‘Ask a Matchmaker Live’ every week through Zoom to a couple hundred viewers and allowed the audience to ask questions to which I would give answers in real time.”
The New York Times featured Avgitidis and her live “Ask a Matchmaker” show in a recent Sunday Styles piece, “Singles Have to Think Outside the Screen” on May 9, 2020. The article showcased how her high-end matchmaking company, Agape Match, innovated different programs for its singles experiencing dating difficulty in the time of COVID-19.
“That’s when I realized this should become a podcast; something that singles and those in relationships looking for guidance can have access to in their pocket,” Avgitidis said. “I released three episodes for its inaugural launch to give my listeners an opportunity to see the range of guests we’d have on — from an online dating manager to a clinical psychologist that specializes in narcissism.”
Avgitidis took a two-week break from “Ask a Matchmaker Live” to give birth to her second child, a girl. When she returned, she began recording her live show with a slightly different format to accommodate podcast listeners.
Avgitidis spends most of the episode answering audio questions with her weekly guest. Fans of the podcast have two ways to submit questions: (1) They can attend a live show and ask in real time or (2) Email their pre-recorded audio questions.
“I now invite a special guest each week to talk to me about their journey and how that relates back to dating and relationship trends,” Avgitidis said. “For instance, my second guest, Fotini Iconomopoulos, a Greek America 40 Under 40 award recipient, is a negotiations expert. Her unique expertise in communications and negotiations gives listeners knowledgeable ways to effectively advocate for their dating and relationship needs.”
Iconomopoulos is a professor of MBA Negotiations at the Schulich School of Business and empowers Fortune 500 executives to achieve their objectives through her expertise in negotiation, communication and persuasion.
“Whether for business or romantic relationships, ultimately negotiation is about understanding how to communicate effectively to prevent and manage conflict,” she said.
The Toronto native is the author of “Say Less, Get More,” to be released in Spring 2021 by Harper Collins.
About the podcast
The “Ask a Matchmaker” podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify and Stitcher. To attend a live show or submit a dating question, visit askamatchmaker.com. Users can follow Maria Avgitidis on Instagram at @MatchmakerMaria.
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