How you present yourself to the world matters. How you present yourself on your dating profile matters even more, yet often people seem to forget that, when they throw together a hastily devised dating profile for the dating apps of their choice.
Your personal brand is what people think about you when they see you online (and in person) in a business context but also in a personal context. It’ll be the reason why people will want to swipe right on your dating profile over other people’s – if done well. It’s what differentiates you from other people online.
The truth is, whether you’re aware of it or not, you have a personal brand. And how you are perceived by others will determine how they respond to you. The quicker you recognise this and take control of it, the easier it will be to attract people who resonate with you and with whom you feel a connection.
Many of us now understand how to curate our LinkedIn profile to showcase who we are and how great we are at work. We understand the need for showcasing our personal brand in a business context.
But when it comes to creating our dating profile, we tend to lose sight of this need to portray our personal brand. But it is, of course, just as important and actually very compelling to create a dating profile with thought and intention that aligns with who you are.
Start with self-awareness
But where to start? Firstly, bring your self-awareness to the situation. Reflect and get clear on what it is that makes you, as a person, stand out from others. Take some time to note down what it is you’re passionate about, what your core values are and what your lifestyle preferences are. Once you have clarity on your internal world, you’re ready to start the process of capturing profile photos that ensure the external world view aligns with it. It’s important, in dating, to be as authentic as possible if you want to secure second dates.
Great photos attract attention, authentic ones keep it.Saskia Nelson
Visually share your story
Internally, you know what’s what now. So, the next stage is to use your photos as an opportunity to visually share your story with others. People will be trying to learn more about your lifestyle, energy and vibe just from your profile photos alone, often in a fraction of a second. Take control of the narrative by choosing how you want to showcase yourself.
There are several different elements you can focus on to achieve this:
Clothes – our clothes tell people a lot about our lifestyle, our social status, our personality and our vibe. What do you want your clothes to say? That you’re confident, cool, feminine, comfortable, independent? Choose what to wear in your dating profile pictures carefully and your clothes can help show these different vibes. I love what the psychologist and author, Dr Jennifer Baumgartner says,
’You can use your wardrobe to change how other people perceive you, and even more importantly – how you see yourself.’Dr Jennifer Baumgartner
Don’t underestimate what your clothes are telling people about you. Even if you’re thinking, well I’m not into fashion or clothes at all so my clothes aren’t relevant – they’ll still be telling people something about you.
Colour – from the colours we choose to wear to the backgrounds we’re drawn to, colour is an important part of your personal brand. To create a really strong set of photos, choose a couple of bold colours that suit your colouring and your vibe and try and include these colours somewhere in the shots. A red shirt, a green-covered book, a yellow handbag etc. Bold colour really helps dating profile photos stand out (many tend to be neutral colours and easy to swipe past) and when you tie those same colours into a range of your profile pictures, it will really make an impact.
Props – think about your passions and interests and how you might visually let people know what they are. People respond really well to active, fit people on dating app. If you’re into any kind of sports or movement, that’s a great starting place. Bring your bike, your yoga mat, your boxing gloves and wraps, your tennis racket, your running gear whatever is easy enough to carry but will add some powerful context to your profile photos.
If you’re creative, find a way to show that in your photos. You might bring your camera, sketchpad or iPad along so you can look like you’re shooting, drawing or designing in your photos. Musical instruments, favourite books, skateboard, drum sticks, a bunch of flowers, your dog even – can all play a cool role in telling people more about who you are.
Backdrops – while you should be the star of every shot, don’t forget to pay attention to what’s happening in the background. Your backgrounds need to add value to your photo, not distract people from the main event – you. Avoid anything busy or messy. And try and choose backgrounds that tell people something about you.
By this I mean, you could go somewhere that you love or that appeals to your aesthetic. It could be that cute café you love, the boutique shops in a cool part of town, the rose garden in your local park or the walkway down by the canal.
If you have your photos taken somewhere that appeals to you and makes you feel comfortable, then you’re nailing it.
If all else fails, just choose a simple, plain background, preferably with a splash of colour somewhere. Using bold colour is a really simple way to draw people’s attention to your profile pictures. Most people’s profile photos are often in neutral tones so it’s a super quick hack to make yours jump out.
Leverage Your Points of Difference
One of the biggest dating profie fails that many people fall into is falling back on well-worn clichés in their bios and including cookie-cutter profile pictures (the group shot, the selfie etc).
Your dating profile should be a place to differentiate yourself from everyone else. It’s your opportunity to tell people why they should date you over other people. If you can create profile photos that leverage the things about you that make you stand out from others, you’ll be avoiding those cliché photos and you’ll be creating profile photos with some built-in intrigue. You want to pique people’s interest and curiosity, enough so that they have a reason to reach out to you.