Putting yourself out there can be a daunting and intimidating endeavor, with thousands of profiles to swipe through and tens of dating sites to choose from. With so much to think about the most important question to ask yourself is "what first impressions am I making". This is a common question when meeting in person on a date, a job interview or meeting new friends, but how do we manage this with online dating? With people swiping through profiles, in many cases less in less than a second, your first image is 90% of your success. Here are some tips on picking the perfect first photo.
1. Make sure the image is just YOU and not any of your friends, exes, colleagues, celebrities...no one else! People who have to guess who you are may just swipe through quickly without giving a second thought to doing a deeper dive into your perfect profile.
2. Make sure you are easily seen by having your imaged cropped to a level where we can see your beautiful self without sunglasses on, big hats or anything else that can distract from who you are. Leave the wide angle landscape shot of you hiking through Machu Picchu for further down your profile.
3. I know I said to have a well cropped photo but this does not mean selfies. Guys, this especially means shirtless gym selfies. This is the #1 complaint I hear from my clients about guys. I am glad you are proud of your perfectly sculpted bodies but we can show that in a more natural and approachable way. Girls, this also means no Snapchat filters showing your princess crown, dog ears or any other filters. Real people have pores and shouldn't look like a plastic doll (nor have puppy noses).
4. This next tip is not universal and takes some expertise and some serious self awareness. You will have to think about who you really are and understand what type of people you are trying to attract. If your first picture, and profile in general, is just partying with friends but want someone to find someone to settle down with, you may be attracting the people you don't like while putting off the people you want to attract. Remember, that in most cases like attracts like. Create the type of profile that you would want to date.
5. Last, remember that although we have come up with some "best practices" for dating profiles this is more of an art and subjective. Don't get discouraged or overwhelmed if things aren't going the way you want. Like any business may know, some good old fashioned A/B testing may be in order. That means that you can try different images for your first picture and see if it makes a difference in volume or quality of likes and use the image that delivers the best results.