[This is a continuation of a myTake posted yesterday. See Part 1 here:
7. Post pictures; lots of pictures!
a. Yes, really post pictures! Profiles with no pictures get very little attention. Most of us think the same thing when they see a profile with no photo: “What is he (or she) trying to hide?” Eventually, you will meet someone in person and they will know what you look like; if your appearance is a concern, post the pictures and let them know. If they lose interest when they see the pictures, they will lose interest when they meet you in person! And they may just turn around and walk away; how embarrassing would that be?
b. Not what YOU think is cool but what THEY will think is cool! Many users will never get beyond your photos. If they don’t like what they see in the pictures, they are not going to read that profile that “really” describes who you are. Think about what the opposite gender would see in a picture that would get their attention in a positive way. If you are clueless, find someone of the opposite sex to review your pictures before you post them.
Guys, don't post pictures of you shirtless, or hanging out with some unidentified girl (unless it is your mother and you identify her in a caption below the photo,) drinking beer, driving a jacked up pickup truck, etc. Your pictures project an image of you. What kind of image do you want to project? (Hint: a girl looking for a serious relationship does not want a guy who is obsessed with playing with adult toys like trucks, video games, etc.)
Primary photo shows you drinking beer = he must be an alcoholic! You may think that it is manly to have a picture of you with your foot on the carcass of the deer you killed last season, but women look at that picture and think, “He killed Bambi!”
Ladies, guys want to know that you are physically attractive, but if you post a picture of you in your panties and bra, most guys will assume that you are interested in hooking up . . . or that you are a scammer. Posting a picture of you in front of the Eiffel Tower might be interpreted as “oh, she loves to travel and will expect me to pay for it.”
Post at least one photo that shows your full body. If all she sees is head shots of you, she will probably assume that you are a bit chunky. And if you are chunky, you won’t be able to hide that for very long, will you?
c. Recent pictures! Make sure that your pictures are current. If all goes well, you are going to meet Mister or Miss Potentially Wonderful and, as soon as they see you, they will know that your pictures didn’t accurately portray you as you now look. Do you want his or her first question to be, “How old are your profile pictures?”
Use a mix of posed and candid photos. It is a good idea to have someone else take pictures of you and even better if that person is a professional photographer. They can take photos that will highlight your best features. However, don't use “glamour” photos; everyone can spot those immediately. All of us recognize a glamour photo as soon as we see it and we all know that glamour photos rarely look like the actual person.
d. Don’t just post pictures once and never again change them! Review and revise your pictures occasionally. Regular users of dating sites periodically search profiles and a new picture may get someone’s attention even if they have previously seen your profile.
e. Your profile picture should be you and JUST you. Some profiles have a primary image that is a cartoon, a photo of a glass of wine, a pet, her grandchildren, or a group; of three women. Many people will assume that if the primary photo doesn’t show the user’s face, then it is a face that deserves to be hidden! Also, you profile picture should show your face very closely. Don’t choose a picture that was taken from a distance of 200 yards. If the photo does not clearly show your face, why bother to post it at all?
8. Write a profile that is different than other profiles. Read profiles of other users to learn what things they commonly say and avoid saying those same things. Women, do you know that most of you say that you enjoy going for walks on the beach? SO original! If everyone who claims to like walks on the beach actually did that on a regular basis, there would be daily match.com, POF, OKCupid, and Bumble parades, access would be rationed, and the beach would be closed once a month for repairs!
"I like to take walks on the beach" is interpreted as “I don’t really know what to say so I’ll just say something safe and hopefully it will make me sound cool.” Same thing happens when guys say they enjoy going fishing. They want to sound like “outdoorsy” or “manly” men, but how often do they go fishing? Avoid those clichés!
9. Your profile should paint a picture with words. A profile should briefly explain what someone would learn about you if they spent several hours talking to your friends. What is your outstanding quality? Occupation? Smoker or non-smoker? Religious? Strong political beliefs? Ever been married? Interests and hobbies? It should also briefly describe what is truly important to you. Are you devoted to Habitat For Humanity? Are you a rabid college football fan?
If you are looking for a serious relationship, say things about yourself that explain why you would be a good catch. ("I like to spend time with my nieces and nephews . . . I've worked at the same job for three years . . . I'll be starting classes at the local college in January," etc.) Talk some about long-term goals, so you don't sound like one of those guys whose major concern in life is having “beer and cigarette money” for the weekend.
Ladies, guys WILL look at your pictures and MAY read your profile before contacting you. Just in case they actually read it, tell them what you are looking for. "I want a man who will take me for rides on his Harley on Sunday morning." That's very clear. If that's what you really want, why waste time with guys who don't ride? But if a guy doesn’t own a Harley and doesn’t ride, you will probably never hear from him. Do you want that to be a deal breaker?
10. If you are seeking a long term relationship, DO NOT MENTION SEX! If you are looking for a friend with benefits or casual sex, then get that topic right out in the open. Yes, most people online want a long term relationship which, ultimately, would include a sexual relationship . . . but don’t mention sex in your profile. What would happen if your sister introduced you to her best friend’s sister and you started talking about sexual positions? Don’t let the anonymity of the internet make you feel so bold that you act stupid!
11. Get a second opinion. Ask a trusted friend of the opposite gender to read your profile and give you some feedback on the impression it makes. You may get some significant insights if you do this. You may have a few comments in your profile that you think are humorous but, to others, they may sound angry. The comments that you think portray your sense of humor may sound immature to others. Or you may sound like you are arrogant or even angry at the opposite sex.
12. Keep revising your profile. As you spend some time communicating with other users, you will get some comments about your profile. You will decide that certain words or phrases in your profile are conveying a bad impression of you. Change it! There is always room for improvement, so don't be complacent.
STAY TUNED FOR PART 3!