Online Dating Advice – Show Don’t Tell
What I mean by show and don’t tell in an online dating context is rather than saying you are attractive funny and have a great personality show the people.
Users searching for you want to SEE that you are an interesting person.
The best way you can do this is to post lot’s of interesting photos of yourself doing interesting things. If you play in a band post a picture of you playing a live show.
If you have recently been travelling around Europe then rather than simply saying ‘I travel’ make your travel picture your profile picture. Perhaps it has mount Everest in the background or you standing next to the great wall of china. This show don’t tell ideal does not mean you don’t also explain who you are but simply stating
I’m a musician
Does little to spark the imagination of a user searching for you.
In many online dating sites you are able to post small introductory videos of yourself. How about start it off by playing a tune on your guitar or a small clip of when you sailed along the coastline of spain. Then cut in and say – Hey I’m … I’m looking for someone to share my passion of …
Don’t you think a visual presentation style approach is so much more interesting than simply stating your hobbies in list format.
The show don’t tell mentality means that you are also holding a little back from the browser. By not telling them your life story on a page in text they get curious and email you. Heck even if you like quilting or knitting make sure your picture is of you knitting.
You have to tell at least some vital stuff but try leaving the life story for future offline dates.
Think you funny?
Then tell a funny story! It’s not enough to just say your funny because anyone can do that.
By showing not telling you are also withholding information that is personal to you. Saves you from being stalked by crazy guys OR girls.
You may have heard A I D A before it stand for Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.
This comes from a marketing background but heck the fact is that online dating is not unlike putting an ad in the paper. You are advertising yourself to other people. This AIDA system is a 4 step plan for capturing casual searchers and getting them to respond.
By showing not telling as well using this system that first captures the attention then maintain their interest with benefits (why your worth their time) instilling want or desire and motivating them to email you… you end up getting 300% more emails than before.
Now let’s see how we can apply AIDA to writing your dating profile: As well as showing people how eligible we are rather than just saying we are hoping they will believe us.
#1 Profile Picture
Grab Attention with a thought provoking picture. This picture should capture the essence of who you are. If you slightly dark at heart then a dimly lit room with candles and a guitar might well capture the kind of person you are after. If you are a bubbly fashionable person then a smiling picture of you on the beach could work.
#2 Sustaining Interest
This might sound likes it goes against the show don’t tell mentality but let me explain.
A profile description is very important and really spending some time to fill it out properly is important.
What I mean by show don’t tell is don’t go saying:
I’m ambitious, outgoing and talented… did I mention attractive?
Who wants to hear that? And how do I know your not just some douchbag? You sure sound like one.
Dont use to many crazy adjectives as it goes against the show don’t tell theme your trying to create plus it’s not believable.
Your friend when maintain a users attention is to really give them DETAIL
Your ambitious and like to travel… Ok… where have you been and what makes you so ambitious? Let the user decide how ambitious you really are by saying something like.
I love to travel: I plan to visit every major city in the world before I die. So far I am about 40% through and would love to find someone to join me.
Get it? Yes once again this is an extreme example but you automatically read into this that they are very ambitious and adventurous.
So let the user decide by giving examples in your dating profile!
#3 Trigger Connection And Desire
Online dating profiles by their very nature don’t connect with people’s emotions very well due the fact that you can’t actually be there with them. It’s a non contact distance relationship at the start.
You want to connect with people at an emotional level rather than just an intellectual one. You will likely know that people make decisions based on emotions.
Make them feel as passionate about life and your interest as you are by really writing with emotion.
This is the easy part. You don’t even have to be their to ask a women to email you or call you. But you should indicate when and how you like to be contacted. Many profiles do not include any call to action so even if dates are interested they don’t do anything.
Let them know what to do next if you think they are interested. Let them know you are an open guy checks his email every second day and will get back to you within 48 hours. This reduces the small fear of emailing someone and not getting a reply.