Online dating can be tough. With thousands of profiles scattered across a bunch of different platforms, you’ve got to stand out to be successful.
That’s why Lisa Hoehn started Profile Polish, a one-woman business that makes over online dating profiles to attract more matches.
Hoehn had had plenty of experience with online dating and had helped friends redo their profiles in the past. It wasn’t until after a bad breakup, however, that she realised redoing profiles was something she could be doing professionally.
“My friend came over, and I was looking at her profile thinking, ‘Well if my love life sucks, I may as well get yours in order,'” Hoehn said to Business Insider. “I woke up the next morning and had this kind of epiphany moment. People needed someone to do this for them.”
Profile Polish’s services and prices vary depending on what each client needs. For $US48, Hoehn will select photos, edit them, and help a client understand what works and what doesn’t. A solid copy edit and photo makeover costs $US98, while a more in-depth package costs $US198.
Since launching Profile Polish a year ago, Hoehn’s business has increased rapidly, and she now gets between 10 and 15 requests a week. The vast majority of her requests come from men, and they tend to be on major platforms like OkCupid and Match.com. She’s also worked with JDate, How About We…, and PlentyOfFish, and she even has a special, photos-only package for people on Tinder.
Business Insider caught up with Hoehn to get some of her profile makeover tips.
1. Show, don’t tell.
When you’re writing your profile, it’s important to remember this important lesson from your high school English class.
“If you say something like ‘I’m really funny,’ the person reading your profile really has no reason to believe you unless you a crack a few jokes somewhere,” Hoehn said to Business Insider. “Instead of saying you’re spontaneous, talk about the time you hopped on a plane to Thailand. If you help people come to their own conclusion, it hits harder and is more memorable.”
Those specific details will appear much more genuine than a long list of personal qualities, which often end up sounding like a resume no matter how admirable they are.
2. Spend at least 80% of your profile talking about yourself.
“A lot of people spend time on their profile describing the person they’re looking for, saying they will treat her like a princess or spoil her rotten,” Hoehn said. “Someone browsing your profile is trying to picture you in their life, so they need to know about you.”
3. But don’t treat your profile like an autobiography.
While things like your hometown and alma mater are certainly important, you may want to save all of the gritty details for the first date.
“You just have this one page to make an impression,” Hoehn said. “That biographical information may not be as relevant to whether they fit into what you do on weekends, or how you’re applying your education to your life now.”
4. Turn negatives into positives.
It’s much easier to relate when you focus on the things you’re passionate about.
“People really connect on things they do like, the commonalities,” Hoehn said. “Instead of saying you hate the outdoors, you could say you’re more of a homebody, for example. Open-mindedness is attractive.”
5. Show a smile.
Smiling in your profile picture will immediately make you seem more open and approachable.
“It sounds so simple, but you’d be amazed at how many guys say they want to look tough and don’t want to smile. It’s just not welcoming,” Hoehn said. “You could even practice smiling in a mirror before you take a picture.”
Looking into the camera is important as well. Just like in real life, a fellow online dater is more likely to engage with you when you’re making direct eye contact.
6. Try to match your photos to your interests.
If you’re a triathlete, use a picture of you training or crossing the finish line. If you’re really into art or museums, put up a photo of you with your favourite painting.
“It’s good to show your life through your photos,” Hoehn said.
7. Change your profile picture every few weeks.
“If you change your main photo regularly, people who skipped over you before may reconsider,” Hoehn said.
Most people don’t have that many photos of themselves that they like, so try asking your friends to snap some pictures while you’re out.
8. Skip the selfies.
Online dating is different for everyone, but this is one rule Hoehn really encourages her clients to follow.
“For guys, I say zero selfies,” Hoehn said. “Women can get away with one as long as it’s not a horrible duck face.”