Now believe it or not profiles with photos get 8 to 15 more views and responces than those with out.
This is especially true for guys who seem to have a reluctance to show the world they're on a dating site.
Try it for your self - pick a free dating website andgo look at the blokes searching for women...more than half have no picture. What does this say about them? Are they just shy? Nervous about online dating? Hoping the wife doesn't spot them? ...or actually are they the elephant man? Seriously no one will want to meet up and go on a date when they have no clue what you look like and with the availability of digital cameras these days there are no excuses!
As a side note the other reason for doing this little bit of research is that it shows you who your competition is...after all love is war, and in war intel is key.
With pictures you have a split second to make an impression, to raise someone's curiosity to want to know more and then check out your killer profile. But as with your personal bio it pays to spend some time planning what photo's you're going to use on your profile.
Again this goes back to the concept of promoting 'you' as a brand and keeping in mind what you are trying to achieve. So the following types of photo are out:-
- that funny snap of your drunk in a nightclub a few weeks back
- that carefully cropped shot of you and your ex...cutting her out of the picture
- the picture of you 7 years ago on a beach when you looked tanned and trim, before the beer belly and hair loss
- the one of that celebrity that people are always saying you look like.
Bin them and don't let them anywhere near your profile.
Ok back to that little bit of research you did on other people's profiles.
Have a look at their photo's...fairly similar shots? Keep in mind that you have to stand out from this crowd (in a good way).
What pictures should I use?
When we wrote the personal bio there were 3 or 4 key interests that we tried to focussed on. These are the things that made you interesting, unique...worth finding out more about. Now when selecting photo's they should complement these activities if possible (tying into the brand that you're trying to establish). If you love surfing - find a picture of you on the beach; if you play bass in a band - get a cool shot of you with your guitar.
The pictures you post should be good quality and you should be clearly seen. Three-quarter length shots or shoulders and head shots work best.
But I don't have any good photo's?
Was Hannibal stopped by the Himalayas? No, he found a way over them!
Ideally I'd suggest going to get a few pictures done by a professional - there are some cheap packages around. Yes it feels weird but ultimately you're paying for their expertise and the results are usually very good.
Good lighting, the right angle and timing the shot makes all the difference.
Alternatively ask a friend to take a load of shots with you. Get them to take a fair number of pictures (20 or so), perhaps on different settings, because not all of them may work well, and because you then have a good selection to choose from. Again think about those interests and choose your backdrop carefully!
Always keep asking yourself what you would want to see if you were a member of the target audience (usually the opposite sex), looking at your profile for the first time, and be critical.
If you are good with photo editing it might be an idea to touch them up slightly, just don't go overboard. If it's good enough for celebrities then why not.
Add a border to your picture of the same colour as the hyperlinks on the target site.
This makes the picture stand out when being displayed next to everyone elses and the colour builds the association that the picture is something to be clicked.
Hope that helps.