Online dating has its benefits and its pitfalls, but there sure are a lot of us Bumbling, Matching, Hinging, and Tindering these days.
So, if you’re gonna be out there searching for digital love, you might as well put your best foot forward. Or your best pic and tagline. Whatever. Because it’s getting harder and harder to catch the attention of the right people amidst this swipe culture we all live in now. How do we make a profile that will stand out amidst the crowd and be effective in attracting the type of people that we’d actually be excited to meet?
The bottom line is that your first impression is everything. You’ve gotta reel ’em in quick, so they’ll be interested enough to delve deeper.
QUICK PIC TIPS
Say that five times fast.
Let’s not play fairy tale games here. Your pics are important to create attraction and to build confidence that you’re a real human. Here are some guidelines to get you started:
- Your first pic is your face. Ideally, some sort of close-up with a genuine smile or a playful grin. This pivotal pic is your first impression and it has the power to compel people to look at the rest of your profile…or decide to keep it movin’ in the matter of a second. Don’t be afraid to look nice and approachable. Make it an eye-catcher and consider picking something with some contrast or color to draw the eye.
- Yes, you need a full body shot. You don’t have to be shirtless, but being at a distance in full-on snowboarding gear isn’t ideal, either. Find the middle ground, people.
- Don’t hide your face. Make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses in every picture. People want to see the top of your face. In fact, when you tend to post pics where your face is continuously obscured, the first thing people are going to assume is that you’re hiding something. Even if you’re not, why make people suspicious?
- Avoid blurry and/or low quality pics. We live in an HD world and your profile just isn’t gonna pop in the same way if you’re rockin’ pixelated and poorly lit photos. All the pics in this post were taken with just my iPhone.
- Take it easy on the group pics. People don’t want to spend time trying to pick you out of a lineup. Keep it to one group pic at the max and make sure you’re easily identifiable.
- Keep your pics current. That pic you took with a koala in 2010 is cute, but a lot can happen in seven years. Bonus points for keeping them within the last 6 months.
- Men: Avoid posting pics with other women. I know guys that will post a pic with attractive women just to show that other women will hang out with them. Ineffective and a deterrent.
- Diversity is a plus. Face, body, hobby, pet, candid. Candids are a great contrast to the more posed shots because people appreciate getting a glimpse of someone in their more natural state. It can take the thought process from, “Huh…they’re hot” to “That looks like a fun person I’d want to hang out with.” The more variety you create in your pic selection, the more confident someone is that they have a solid impression of what you look like and what you’re about. More confidence, more messages.
GENERAL BIO TIPS
1. Take your ego out of the equation.
Don’t think of your dating profile as a place to brag about yourself. Think about it as a way to present a quick and honest glimpse of who you are so that you can attract the type of person you would actually want to meet. It’s easy to make it a numbers game and try to attract anyone and everyone, but that’s when you’ll spread your attention so thin that even people you might have been interested in will fall through the cracks.
2. Be honest about what you’re looking for.
If you know that you’re just there to meet new people and/or find something that stays casual…add that in there. Looking for an actual relationship? Share that with your potential matches. Why? Because it doesn’t do you any good in the long run to engage with people that are looking for something fundamentally different than you are.
3. If you can show it, don’t tell it.
Got a great sense of humor? Write something clever and skip the pic of you dressed as Bozo the Clown. If you’re fit, we’ll learn that from the pics you’ve chosen. Things that are cool to tell? What you might want to do on a first date, interesting quirks, the places you usually hang out, or some likes and dislikes.
4. Steer clear of negativity or creating a list of what you don’t want.
Don’t waste space with anything that resembles, “If you’re _______, don’t even bother messaging me” or “Only looking for fit people who can keep up”. It screams anti-positivity, ya know? Worse still, people will tend to assume you’re bitter or a bit judgmental. If that’s not the look you’re going for, tell people what you ARE looking for without the negative spin.
5. Don’t make fun of online dating while you’re online dating.
Skip writing anything like: “I can’t believe I’m doing this” or “Just on here because my friends forced me to try it out.” Look…you’re in there. Online dating doesn’t carry the stigma that it used to. Give it an honest try and don’t feel like you have to be ashamed or project skepticism about it. You might also be unintentionally insulting someone that is genuinely trying to find someone online. So, just own it. Confidence is sexy.
6. Make sure you’re using the app/site that fits you best.
Would you prefer to swipe (ex. Bumble) or would you like to create a customized search to help you find your next date (ex. Match)? You want to take into account whether you want more room to write a detailed bio or if you’re alright with a short blurb. Try out a few and get a feeling for what types of daters they’re attracting: hookups, casual and open-minded daters, people looking for something serious. If you’re looking for my opinion on a few of these sites, check out this blog post: “I Tried Three Online Dating Sites and Here’s What I Found Out”.
7. Don’t aim to sound perfect.
No one’s perfect and you don’t have to be. Oddly enough, trying to sound or look too ideal in a dating profile is a great way to come across generic or have people think you’re a catfish. Don’t depend on a list of buzzwords or write what you think people want to hear. If you’re not showcasing your true personality and visuals, how can you expect to find the person that will appreciate them?
8. Keep it short and sweet, but don’t you dare leave it blank.
I have a personal rule: A blank bio is an automatic pass. No matter how attractive I think they are. Why? Because they didn’t take the couple of minutes to type out a few words. It causes me to assume (and I could be wrong, but think about how little info there is to go on) that they’re someone that is more interested in looks and, therefore, will only be interested in my looks by default. No effort, no right swipe. Don’t fret, People of Few Words. Even jotting down a quick couple of bullet points and stats about yourself can be plenty to create interest these days.
9. Consider how people will perceive you.
Step outside of your own perspective for a moment and take a look at what you’ve put together. Are you accurately representing yourself? Are you a sweet guy that wants a relationship, but then realize your choice of Blue Steel-muscle flexing-Vegas party pics isn’t giving off that vibe? Here’s your chance to make some adjustments and create a more well-rounded representation of who you are that will increase the chances of attracting who and what you’re really looking for.
10. Get a second opinion from your target market.
For example: Are you interested in women? Don’t shy away from asking a female (who’s opinion you trust) for some feedback. Or maybe just ask a good friend to confirm that you’re comin’ across as delightful and charming as you are in real life.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Take these things into account and you’ll have yourself a good-lookin’ online dating presence aimed towards trying to find some genuine connection.
Or, ya know, just Tinder it up if that’s what floats your boat. Online dating is what you make of it, my friends.
Did you enjoy this post? Then feel free to share it with your friends or check out more of my posts and my podcast, “We’re All Human with Courtney Diamond” on my podcast page.