Five Steps to Creating a Great Online Dating Profile

Online dating expert Bela Ghandi shares advice on how to meet your match.

Bela Gandhi always knew she had a knack for romance, but it was a gut reaction that prompted her to create a business out of it.

In 2009, Gandhi launched Smart Dating Academy, a realistic approach toward helping millions of Americans achieve the most out of their online dating experience. Using what she calls, “dating coaching,” Gandhi and her team have you covered with services ranging from counseling to image consulting.  Five years later, Smart Dating Academy is still going strong, and according to Gandhi, averages a committed relationship or engagement per month.

In an effort to assist our JET readers with their online dating pursuits, Gandhi offers her top five tips on how you can put your best foot forward and stand out in the online dating realm:

1. Take it Seriously.

I don’t think people give [online dating] enough importance. It’s like, “I’m going to throw up some little pictures and write something about myself. I don’t even know how to describe myself.” You have to think about this very differently than that approach. What I just described is the typical mentality of someone dipping their toe into the online dating pool. This is your personal marketing in cyberspace. There are 20-40 million people dating online at one time. In real life, you have 60 seconds to make good impression. Online, you have .6 seconds to make a good impression. Understand how online dating works before you get into this game.

2. Strike a Pose.

Have great photos! That will make the most difference and quickly. You need to have great headshots and full-body shots … you can’t hide from that. Ideally, you should have about five to six photos. You should also be looking and smiling directly at the camera. They should be well-lit photos, too. I recommend professional photos that don’t look to glamorized or posed. This would really help you get a better response.

3. Show and Tell.

You need to show instead of tell. Nine out of 10 profiles are the same. They’re strong with adjectives. For example, a profile might say, “I’m kind. I’m fun. I’m adventurous. Blah, blah, blah. I’m just as comfortable in jeans as I am in a ballroom gown.” Stop right there. Show that to me instead of telling me. If you’re going to say, “I’m kind.” Tell someone in one to two sentences what that means to you. If you’re a guy, you might say, “I’m the kind of guy that on a cold, blizzard day will grab your keys, warm-up your car and clean the snow off for you.” That will tell someone more about who you are and will help you stand out. Again, this is your personal marketing space in cyberspace. Craft your profile to be 200-300 words, not too short and not too long.

4. Send Positive Vibes.

Be positive, fun and smart in your online profile. Put your best foot forward. Don’t go negative or dark. Don’t talk about all of the things you don’t want: “If you’re a party boy and you’re looking for some action, please delete me.” That says more about you than them. That says I’ve made bad choices in guys. People want to be around positive people. If you put negativity out there, that’s what’s going to come back to you.

5. Market Yourself.

When you’re creating a username, don’t say, “ChitownGirl123.” That says nothing about you. Again, put your marketing hat on, this is your product, your brand name. Think of three words that describe you. Maybe you’re warm, witty and a writer. Combine three adjectives that describe you versus going generic. Don’t use your name or initials in your profile. It’s a matter of safety. You don’t want people knowing your name before you’re ready.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever tried online dating? What has your experience been like? Share your story in the comments!