I hope you're not on a dating website. Sadly, I have been because I've been unable able to meet a suitable lady the old fashioned way and friends insist I go about it like this. (Aside: it's not working so I'm bailing soon!) Anyway, on the chance that you are using the internet to find your match, may I share a few thoughts...
1) I'm amazed at the lack of information people offer about themselves. ("I like travel and cooking." That's it? That's all?? Gosh, I'm gonna fall head over heels with this lady!) Now, no one's saying you have to write a novel, but seriously, you have to think of this like it's a sales call. Listing a mere couple of words rather than a few thoughtful sentences describing you just ain't gonna make it. At the end of the day, each of us is selling our personalities, sharing our likes and dislikes. I get it: writing about yourself is not easy (even for a guy like me, and I'm a marketer and a writer!), but let me suggest that with whatever you choose to say, consider at least answering 3 questions:
- What’s in it for the person who's reading?
- Why you as opposed to another person on the site?
- And what makes you unique, different, appealing?
Listing just a couple of points like "I like walking and wine" rather than some sentences describing you won't create demand. How about enough information so that we at least get a sense of who you are? C'mon, this is your chance to show what you've got. Use it!
2) Can we please lose: “Don’t think I’m rude if I don’t get back to you. Just means I don’t think we’re a good match.” Well, you know what: I do think you’re rude. Sorry, but that just shows a lack of breeding. If someone goes to the trouble of reading your profile and then communicates with you as a result, surely it's not unreasonable to think they deserve the common courtesy of a simple response... you know, something that takes maybe 30 seconds out of your oh-so-precious-and-busy day such as, “Thanks for your message. You know, I don’t feel we’re a good match, but good luck in your search.” Better that than just a no-response-at-all brush off, isn’t it?
3) If there's an option to state what age you're looking for, or other non-negotiable details that are important to you, please use this. Let's save us all some valuable time.
Photos are crucial! Let's face it, we all want to see if there's some visual chemistry there first, right? But here are some thoughts on using photographs on dating sites...
1) Imagine yourself scanning a newspaper, looking for articles to read. Suddenly, an image from an ad catches your fleeting attention. What do you do? You stop and investigate further, right? Well, that's just what's going on here. Is your first photo going to stop someone and cause them to want to know more? If it is, bingo! If not, get new ones!
2) Avoid use of one photo only. Too often, one photo only is the mark of a scammer or someone who says physicality doesn't matter. It does.
3) Make sure your photo is rotated correctly. Most folks coast by pretty quickly and we won't bother to crane our necks around when there's a "sideways shot". You'll never be seen.
4) Skip the sunglasses or shots that don't show your eyes: eyes are truly the passageway to the soul and I, for one, need to see 'em.
5) Avoid poor focus photos or ones that have been "treated". C'mon...
6) Can we skip the shots that are so dark or that show you way, way far away where we can't even see you? Waste of time.
7) Featuring shots of you from 6 years ago just ain't gonna make it! We all change as we age (some of us gracefully, I hope!), so let's be comfortable showing ourselves as we are today (I talked with a guy recently who met a lady for coffee and didn't even recognize her because it turned out her photos were from years ago and she hadn't, shall we say, "maintained" herself well!)
8) You need to be careful with what you think are funny photos. One lady recently posted a shot of her throwing the finger at the camera. Now, I'm no prude, but really, who needs that? You may think it's hilarious, but some of us just walk by, unimpressed. We don't know you well enough yet. (And if you don't want to pose for the camera, or think it's beneath you, then maybe don't go on the website.)
9) While we're at it, let's skip the scenery shots please. I don't plan to date the sunset anytime soon. Or the beach.
10) You know, a smile doesn't hurt. Can't believe the folks who are oh-so-very-serious.