How to Create an Online Dating Profile That Works
With just a few simple tricks and tips, you can make yourself stand out online.
-Kate Houston, trysweettalk.com
Want to go from being one of many to being the one? Then do what advertisers do-market yourself. Seriously, there are millions of restaurants in the world, yet the most well-known is McDonalds. Sure, Chicken McNuggets are to die for after a night of clubbing, but food isn’t what made them famous– marketing is. It’s also what’s behind brands like Apple and Nike. So don’t just write about yourself, market yourself using these ad techniques:
In all the years I worked as an ad writer (before transferring my skills to online dating profiles), I heard a lot of strange conversations by graphic designers. They’d complain that environmentalists had hijacked the color green. They’d describe logos in the same way I’d describe Joe Manganiello (mmm…he makes my eyes water). I even heard one designer say that script fonts do not make her orgasm (soooo other fonts do?).
The point is that packaging speaks volumes. What is your photo saying? If you’re in a bath towel then it’s not saying you’re clean anymore than cleavage pics are saying you have a good heart (same area physiologically, vastly different body parts).
So, take a great head shot. Take a great body shot. And, take the following tip into consideration: add subtle messaging to your pictures. If you love hiking, post a photo of you outdoors. If you like dogs, post a photo with your pet. Human beings size up situations very quickly, so maximize your visual opportunities.
There’s a reason why denture ads don’t appeal to teens and that’s because they aren’t designed to. Advertisers craft ads that promote a product’s attributes so that they, in turn, catch the eye of people who find those attributes appealing. It’s called “targeting” and I use it when crafting profiles.
I once wrote the dating profile of such a foodie that he and his friends would even have “restaurant-hopping” evenings. Still, he didn’t want to turn off women who watched their diet. Despite my objections, he asked that I keep this out. A few days later he wrote to say I was right. He then shared a hilarious account of his disastrous dinner date with a hot looking, but super picky eater. Needless to say, he put his love of food back into the profile.
The lesson here is that you need to be specific about your passions and values so that you meet someone who shares them, or appreciates those aspects of you.
A unique ad is a memorable one. The same is true of dating profiles. The best way to be unique is through personal anecdotes. They’re yours and yours alone. For instance, instead of listing your favorite activities (I run, I swim, I ski, I cycle. I sound like a tampon ad), provide fun anecdotes.
I had a client who was chased by a giant swan when she went running while on holiday. Another client fell off her bike and was helped up by none other than Spiderman himself, Tobey Maguire.
Such anecdotes make running and cycling far more interesting. Even if anecdotes aren’t as remarkable as these, they’re still unique. Be sure to include little quirks too. They’re cute and disarming.
Have a dynamic opener
When reading, people tend to flip over print ads. That’s why we take great pains to grab them with a headline. In online dating, people see the photo, skip over the headline, and go straight to the first lines of copy. As such, your opener (not your headline) has to grab attention. How? By reading the section on being unique.
In short, a dynamic opener is one that no one else is saying. For instance, how’s this for engaging:
I’ve been skydiving, bungee jumping and white rapid rafting. Still, nothing gives me a rush like buttered popcorn and Freddy Krueger.
Have a clear offer
You know that section on dating profiles that asks, “Do you want kids”, “do you have kids”, or “what you’re looking for”? Answer them. They have life-altering implications. If you want kids, say so. If you want a serious relationship, say so. Don’t answer with, “Rather not say”. Every good ad makes its offer clear because every good advertiser knows that a customer will return a product if it’s not what she expected.
The beauty of online dating is that you can make your deal breakers known before you become emotionally invested. So avoid letdowns and answer those all-important questions.
Good brands update their ads regularly and you should too. It can take awhile to find the “one.” As such, if the same people keep seeing you, you can begin to look unwanted. The easy fix is to change your photo and copy here and there. A profile on a site, like a product on a shelf, needs to be dusted off every once in awhile.
Here are examples of profiles that I’ve actually seen posted on dating sites: “I like playing porker with the guys”; “I’m looking for an intelligant guy”; and my favorite, “It’s not rock science”. Needless to say, I suggest that you proofread before you post. Here’s how: read every word backward starting from last to first. Then read it through aloud.
There you have it. A few basic ad techniques so that your profile stands out against all your competitors. Apply them and watch your inbox go from empty to full of promise.
Kate Houston has been an ad writer and marketing expert for 20 plus years. She also founded trysweettalk.com, the only service in North America to use ad techniques so that dating profiles, LinkedIn profiles and professional bios stand out and get noticed.Check out her blog and you can follow her on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.