If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, firstly; why didn’t you document it digitally? Just imagine the likes you would’ve got! And secondly, perhaps you’ve missed the fact that we are now living in the era of the ‘personal brand’.

Yep, the proliferation of the online space has made every facet of our personal lives marketable, and it’s in the online dating world where this is most apparent. Because let’s face it, we all know the outcome of a half arsed attempt at Tinder et al; a blurred photo next to a hot friend combined with a one word bio simply won’t cut it. You’re going to be swiping more than smooching, to put it quite bluntly.

Not to worry; there are some failsafe, surefire ways to get your profile noticed and to stand out in the crowded, confusing world of online dating. These are those; our 5 IDEAL tips on making your dating profile ping.

DON’T DEFINE YOURSELF BY NEGATIVITY

Yep, we accept the irony of writing this after including the word ‘don’t’ in the heading, but we’re only trying to attract readers, not suitors. So please, read on…

Too many online dating bios feel like the potential love interest is being read the riot act even before there’s been a match. ‘No one under six foot’, ‘if you don’t love dogs, swipe left’, and ‘people who live with their parents need not apply’ are just a few choice cuts we’ve seen that just start the whole process off on the wrong foot. If your profile is a breeding ground for negativity, expect to repel rather than seduce.

Instead, foster a brand of positivity, with hobbies, passions, hopes and dreams mentioned (within reason, of course) to show the dating world you’re a catch, not a carp.

STRIKING THE RIGHT POSE

Though we’d love to say we were first attracted by someone’s personality over a dating app, we’d be called out for dishonesty pretty quickly. Of course, a person’s picture is the first thing you see when swiping mindlessly, and without a photo which catches the eye, no one’s blaming you for quickly moving on. 

Getting your first photo right is a fine balancing act between casual and curated if ever there was one. You want a flattering solo picture which shows your face clearly; anything blurry or part of a group rarely gets a second glance, we find. But, you don’t want the photo to look too forced or posed. Trying too hard is never a good look, right? If you really want to stand out and get those gorgeous looks of yours captured, make sure you strike the right balance.

Consider splashing out some money on a professional headshot photographer to get portraits for your dating profile, enabling better control of the final result than your drunk pal with half a thumb over the iPhone camera shutter, and really capturing you at your best. Moreover, getting professional, high-quality pictures from a photographer can be a powerful confidence-boosting treat for yourself.

Once you’ve cast your net, you can use your other photos to impress further…

INCLUDE ACTIVITY PICTURES, BUT EXERCISE CAUTION

There are several dating app profile cliches that should be avoided; namely posing with exotic animals, swimwear shots, flashing inappropriate gestures and snaps with your ex clearly cropped out. That said, showing off some of the hobbies and activities you enjoy via your profile pics can be a shortcut to getting across your personality quickly and efficiently. A picture tells a thousand words, after all, and since your bio limit is likely below that, you should express your personality through your photos if you can.

According to the matchmakers over at Bumble, a sextet (no, you thought about sexting) is the magic number of photos you should have on your profile – they found that users who make the effort to upload 6 photos have a better experience, as they’re telling a story of who they are.

So, if you’re a keen concert-goer, a photo of you looking sunkissed and blissed out at Glastonbury would convey a positive message. Should you love martial arts, then a snap in your gi is pretty much obligatory. If your hobbies are shooting and fox hunting, then perhaps leave that one out of the photo album.

SEMANTICS MATTER

The way you describe yourself, especially in the adjectives, can denote so much, and carry particular, unique meaning in the dating world. As such, you should exercise caution in your bio with the ol’ personal blurb bit.

The linguistic flourishes of dating are complicated and open to broad interpretation. Resist the urge to describe yourself as ‘normal’, for instance, which can immediately be misconstrued as boring and unadventurous. Instead, how about ‘down to earth’? Consider the difference between self-defining as ‘shy’ and ‘peaceful’? The latter just sounds so much more appealing, right? 

Deploy particular restraint in the complex nature of the language of casual sex. Phrases like ‘not looking for anything serious’, ‘fun’, and ‘like to party’ will be like red flags to horny, lonely folk. If that’s what you’re looking for, great! But if you’re seeking a genuine connection, consider the subtle variations and nuances of each, and word your bio carefully. 

BE AUTHENTIC

We’ve all, to some extent, pretended to be something we’re not to make someone more attracted to us, but does it ever actually work in the long run? Past experience suggests not.

Indeed, we’ve all been there, being economical or poetic with the truth from the outset, to pique interest early and to stand out in a massively competitive field. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to be found out; so do try to be honest and true to yourself from the off. That sense of ease in your own skin and courage in your convictions can be really attractive, even if it’s only coming across via exchanged messages. By being authentic from the get go, you’re laying the groundwork for a truly meaningful connection later down the line.