Guest Blog written by my friend and favorite midlife single guy, John Follis.
John is a Madison Avenue advertising man (have you seen Mad Men on A&E?), but he’s current day, not from the past. He wouldn’t cheat on his wife though – he’s a good man and an eligible single guy too! He’s a direct, honest guy who has a certain way of saying things that really sums it up perfectly. Well of course that’s true – he’s in advertising! Words are his business.
From time to time, John and I have in depth discussions about midlife dating and the differences between men and women. We tend to agree on most issues and I get some fabulous insights into how men think from our conversations. He’s helped me with my upcoming book called, What’s He thinking? What You Need to Know about How Midlife Single Men Think.
In this post, John shares his expertise and shows you how to apply it to your own ad campaign – your online dating profile. If you are a single woman dating over 40 or dating after divorce, read on for some savvy online dating advice to create a winning profile that gets the attention you deserve.
My own online dating advice which I share with dating coaching clients is pretty much the same. But now, you can hear it directly from a midlife single man! If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll listen to John.
Your Match profile is an ad. It sounds crass, but it is. And, as a Madison Ave adman I can tell you that if you really want to improve your chances of meeting a good guy, it would help to understand a few basics of effective advertising.
1) Be Honest
Of all my tips, this is the most important. It may also seem a bit surprising since advertising isn’t especially known for it’s honesty. However, the most effective advertising tells the truth and so should your profile. This may be tough for some, especially when it comes to age and photos, but if the foundation of a quality relationship is honesty your profile is the place to start.
If you look and act 10 years younger than you are, say it and prove it with some great (current) pics. Having directed many photo shoots I can tell you that good lighting, a good smile, and a good photographer, can make a world of difference in presenting a great, attractive image.
2) Be Concise
Long copy is generally a turn-off, especially to guys who are mostly visual. So, as with any ad, “concise and intriguing” is best. Save the great personal details for when you connect.
3) Be Positive
Positive copy, with a sense of humor, is always more attractive than negative copy. If you’re feeling a bit jaded because you’re being hit on by dozens of losers, be careful not to let that frustration come across in the tone of your profile. It really won’t help.
4) Avoid Clichés
It’s fine if you enjoy longs walks on the beach and are just as comfortable in jeans as in a little black dress. For your profile, however, originality will better reflect the unique person you are and more effectively attract the guy you want.
5) Have More Than One Good Photo
Since guys are so visual, the more good variety of shots you have, the better the chance of getting a response. Be sure the shots are recent, in focus, big enough, and with decent lighting. If you’re in good shape be sure you have at least one pic that shows it. Since not everyone has great, recent photos lying around some women have rustled up a photographer. If you have to spend a few bucks for that, do it. You can use the pics for other things besides Match and it’ll be well worth the investment.
6) Don’t Be Shady
Never have a main photo with sunglasses and don’t have more than one sunglass pic in your profile. Unless you’re not really single, had a bad eye job, or are in the Witness Protection Program, hiding your eyes won’t serve you well in attracting a guy.
7) Dogs, and Cats, and Flowers, Oh My
No matter how adorable your poodle or Maltese is, your online profile is really not the place for pics of him. (Like guys with their multiple car and motorcycle pics.) Not only won’t most guys care about your pet, many will perceive it as competition. I also suggest losing the flower and sunset shots no matter how pretty. Because the kind of guy who’s into poodles, flowers and sunsets, probably isn’t into women.
8) The Ex Factor
Everyone’s got’em, but photos of a crudely blocked-out ex is just bad form. If you really love the photo that includes an ex, then learn how to crop it tight, or retouch it, so the ex is out of the picture — literally.
9) Don’t YELL
If you don’t know, ALL CAPS is the equivalent of YELLING.
10) Not responding is not being impolite
If you get an email from a guy who doesn’t interest you, you don’t have to politely try to tell him that. No one likes being rejected and emailing him back just to inform him that you don’t think you’re a match will only put you back on his radar in a disappointing and potentially negative way. If he’s a psycho, or even just having a bad day, it only gives him the chance to say something nasty. It’s not just worth it.
John Follis’ agency, Follis/DeVito/Verdi was one of New York’s most award-winning ad agencies on Madison Avenue. Selected as “One of New York’s Best Ad Execs” by The New York Ad Club, John has lectured on advertising, taught advertising, and written about it in ADWEEK, Ad Age, The New York Enterprise Report, and multiple websites. His creative writing includes an essay in Mirror On America– a pop-culture anthology including essays from humorist Dave Barry, MTV’s Kurt Loder, Al Gore, Dick Clark and Stephen King. Currently, he blogs, speaks and does project work for clients around the US. Find him at http://www.FollisInc.com/therapy.htm