Dating coach Connell Barrett explains dating app tips for guys from how to take better Tinder photos and what to write on your bio, to a secret weapon on Bumble.
Connell, do you have any tips on taking good Tinder photos that can get me some matches and results—instead of crickets?
—Floyd, 36, Harrisburg, Pa.
Let’s kick off this special online-dating-themed column by discussing something very important. On Tinder and the apps, It’s all about your featured photo – it’s the most important piece of real estate on your profile.
You want to make your first photo a high-quality portrait, showing you at your most attractive, dateable best. Nothing works better than a magnetic portrait, when it comes to getting more good matches.
The image should be crisp, clear, and bright, ideally shot with natural light, which tends to be more flattering than artificial light.
Also, you’ll want to zoom in close and shoot from the waist or chest up. Look at the lens—eye contact increases the sense of connection with the audience.
And smile—a REAL smile, not a fake, forced smile. Leave the smoldering glares to Zoolander. The closer you get to the lens, the better.
Also, in your photos, dress first-date great. Wear what you would wear to a first date that you’re excited about.
As for what NOT to do?
Avoid wearing sweat pants, baseball caps, cargo shorts, or anything that’s too casual. And selfies are not a good idea for most people, because the angle tends to be less than flattering, and can give some people a “double chin.”
Don’t wear sunglasses. The other person wants to see your eyes, because that helps to increase a sense of connection. Oh! And don’t post a shot of you holding the fish you just caught.
These are very clichéd images that women see a lot. The typical woman does not want to date the captain from “Jaws.”
But if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to reel in a LOT more matches, and get a lot more dates.
I feel like my Tinder photos are good, but never know what to write on my bio. Got any advice?
—Frank, Iowa City
What makes for a good bio?
A great bio has what I call the 3 Ps. Passions, Personality, and Playfulness. Let’s break these down, one by one.
Passionate people are attractive. You want to write about the things you’re excited about – skiing, live music, your dog, Bill Murray movies… anything!
And get specific. Don’t just say, “I love to travel.” That’s everyone. Go deeper. Say, “I love backpacking through Italy” or “I can’t wait to visit Machu Picchu next month!”
You want your true, real personality to come out. So make your bio sound conversational. Write like you talk. Sound like you, not like a “dating ad.”
This comes down to making a shift, away from dry, logical, informational facts, and instead communicating on a more emotional level, by injecting your TRUE personality into your profile.
Here’s an example from my Bumble profile. Feel free to use it, if this sounds like you. My profile reads, “I won’t send you a dick pic, but I MIGHT send you a duck pic.”
Girls love this because it’s light, silly, and it reflects my authentic, “Dad Joke” personality.
And be playful. Crack a joke. Be silly. Playfulness is an attractive trait. Here’s a line from the bio of my client, Jared, who is getting a LOT of matches on Hinge:
“Just so you know, I’ve been in jail – but it was during a Monopoly game. ;)”
If you show your passions, your personality, and playfulness, it’s hard NOT to get matches and dates.
What makes for a bad bio?
Avoid clichés! Don’t write, “Giving this a try” or “seeking a partner in crime” -- unless you’re an actual bank robber. Generic greetings like “Whattup?” will fall flat.
Another turn-off? Writing “I’m bad at bios.” Would you buy an iPhone if Apple’s slogan was “We’re bad at technology”?
And no quoting your favorite movie or TV show. Great, you like “The Office”—most of humanity does.
Follow the three Ps to get more matches, more dates, and to start making online-dating fun!
OK, what’s the biggest mistake in writing a bio that most guys don’t even know they’re making? I must be doing something wrong, because I DO get matches with women, but they either don’t send that opener, on Bumble, or they don’t reply at all. Help!
—Niko, 33, Tallahassee
Great question, Niko.
There’s one simple but powerful thing that almost NO guys do, and it helps so much in terms of getting women writing to YOU… especially on Bumble. But it’s also an effective strategy on Tinder, Hinge, or just about any app.
You want to include a “Call to Action” somewhere on your profile, ideally at the end of your bio. (But you can also put the Call to Action” in as a prompt.)
End your bio with a fun Call to Action that compels her to match with you, and also helps her know what to write. This is especially important on Bumble, where women send the first message; you’re helping her write her opener to you.
“Would you rather” questions work well because they’re playful and easy to answer. Such as, WYR…
…have dinner with Lennon or McCartney?
…shower in Evian or swim in Cristal?
…date the Tin Man or Scarecrow?
…eat a potato, or BE a potato?
Calls to Action can simply tell her what you want her to do, the same way we’re all told to “Call now!” or “Like and subscribe.”
The secret? Make her WANT to swipe, by mentioning something fun to talk about.
“Swipe right if you love Ben & Jerry’s.”
“Swipe right if you’re too sexy for this app.”
“What kind of puppy should I get? Message me!”
“Tell me . . . Thin-crust or deep-dish? (Pressure. There IS a right answer.)”
Start using a call to action, and you’ll soon be getting a lot more “action,” in terms of messages and options.
Connell Barrett is a NYCdating coach for men. He's helped men all over the world discover how to find the women of their dreams through dating app tips for guys and authentic dating advice. His work has been featured on Access Hollywood and the Today Show. In addition, you can find him in Maxim,O Magazine, andCosmopolitan. Read his book Dating Sucks But You Don't.
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NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett
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