Have a quick think about how much time you put into your appearance before heading out for a night on the town. Depending on the venue and who you’re heading out with, you could easily be spending an hour or so on preparation. There’s showering, choosing the right clothes and checking yourself out in the mirror just to start with – and sometimes the men take even longer!
So, if you’re prepared to put that much time and effort into getting ready for a night out with people you might already know, how much should you be putting in for a date set up online? Rather more importantly, have a think about how long you’ve spent on that dating profile. Have you spent five or ten minutes hastily filling out the basics? If so, how do you expect anyone to take a second look at you?
The quality of your online dating profile is all that stands between you and an inbox full of invitations and messages. If you’re an experienced online dater, you’ll already know that your eye is drawn to the profiles with photos first. Of those, the ones with something engaging to say about themselves are more likely to gain your attention. Why then are so many people surprised to find they’ve been overlooked when they don’t put care into their own profile?
Your dating profile is your main chance to market yourself, so what should you pay particular attention to?
A lot of people are worried that putting up a photo is going to deter people from getting in touch. This comes largely from insecurity – and that’s only natural. On the other hand, profiles with photos usually receive between ten to fifteen times as many views, so you’re really not helping your cause here. If nothing else, you’re likely to find people assume that you are not serious, or have something to hide.
Focus on appealing to the person who’s going to be interested in dating you, not in trying to be all things to all people. As a general rule of thumb, your profile photos should be
- Recent – in general terms look for it to be no more than six months old
- Flattering – this is one of the big draws for people to your profile, so make sure you’re doing yourself justice.
- Accurate – you want to be sure that your date will recognise you when you meet up.
- Representative – try to make your photo demonstrate some of your appealing qualities, whether it’s a holiday shot outdoors, or of you laughing, or glamming it up for the camera.
It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how just a little attention to the photos and their composition can make all the difference.
Your Profile Description
This is your chance to shine, so it’s well worth taking the time to make yourself stand out here. The biggest element here is finding the balance between privacy and salesmanship. Be positive about who you are and what you are looking for. In general people are more likely to respond to a dating profile that is optimistic and open. At the same time, don’t put everything on the table straight away. You’ll want to have enough left to talk about on your date after all.
Some useful approaches to your profile then:
- Be clear about what you’re looking for – people have all sorts of reasons for dating. Many are looking for a long term relationship, while others are looking for good company on a night out.
- Be positive about yourself – more people respond to profiles that are constructive. Don’t do yourself down, even if you’re not entirely confident.
- Don’t be negative about others – talking about being on the rebound, or casting doubts on the likelihood of finding anyone on the site really will put people off contacting you. Don’t forget that your tone of voice does not translate well in text, so even if you’re joking it may not be taken the way you might expect if you were talking in person.
- Be individual – you want to be remembered for the right reason. Take a little time to read other profiles and you’ll see a lot that are very similar. Don’t copy what everyone else is writing.
- Don’t describe yourself – that’s what the photo is for. Focus instead on what you’re like and adopt a show rather than tell approach. For example, don’t just say you’re funny – use humour in your profile to make someone genuinely smile.
- Make it easy for people to contact you – make sure you use an email address you can readily check, for example. In addition, try to challenge people in your profile. Don’t just say ‘email me’, but try ‘email me with where you think we should go on a first date’.
There are of course, no guarantees in life, but by paying attention to these simple points, you can go a long way in helping yourself. First impressions count as much online as they do when meeting face to face. It may all seem a lot of effort, but give it a go anyway. You’ll find if you try a few different versions that it gets easier. Practice, as in everything, really does make perfect.
Good luck, keep it light, and remember that this is all meant to be fun. You shouldn’t be trying to win a competition to be the most popular person on the site. Instead, you are looking to reach out to the right person for you. They are out there, so go for it.
Tags: dating advice, dating profile, profile photo
Categorised in: Advice
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