In my day life (when I take off the SuperDate-Girl cape) I earn my living in the wonderful world of advertising and marketing. The buzz words in that realm these days are “Relationship Marketing”. This is selling not only the product, but the experience of that product. Marketers want you to be the evangelist for their product. They want you to “friend” them on Facebook, allow their Tweets intimate access to your cell phone, entice you over to their website for fun and games…they want you to DATE their product and develop a loving and lifelong relationship with their toothpaste, car, shoes, makeup, clothing, bank, cereal, breath mints, candy, deodorants, weed-wackers, etc.
HAH…well, couldn’t us veteran online daters learn them a thing or two! For example, we know that there are “thousands of new singles” joining Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and any number of other dating sites EVERY DAY. We also know that a teensy-tiny percentage of those people will actually be dating material. That is to say, free of diseases, phobias, recently broken hearts, spouses and bad breath. So we start our Relationship Marketing plan with a finely crafted profile and photo to show off our wares “on the shelf” so to speak. All the better to attract the pearls among swine.
Photos are important. Anyone who says that they’re not about looks is just…well…spouting a big stinky pile of hooey. The package is important. Your friends may all think he’s sort of weird looking but YOU need to see twinkly stars when you gaze at his odd little face. So we start with a great pix and one that’s current too please. Do I have to say why? Okay, fine, when you open the cereal box with the yummy picture on it – it needs to actually be yummy.
Now, I’m not saying to go out and have your Cousin Sydney, the graphic designer, Photoshop your headshot to within and inch of of it’s pixelated life. Truth in advertising is always the Golden Rule. You should however, make sure that your photos are sharp, in focus and show you in your best light. Cell phone photos are NOT good. I don’t know about you, but I can pick one of those out with one eye closed. For some reason they always make the subject look like some creepy assassin, albeit a fuzzy one (I will be first in line to buy the cell phone that can actually take an in-focus shot of anything!).
You know those hip photos that your kids take of themselves for their Facebook pages; I mean the ones where they show only the left side of their face or just a micro close-up shot of their nostrils? NO…Okay?… just, please ….NO. These only work if you’re under the age of nineteen and have body piercings. Ditto a big NO for wearing sunglasses, oversized hats and last year’s Halloween costume. We need to see you, the real you, the you your friends and family know and love and the you that your future Significant Other will grow to love.
If you have a few dollars to spare, this would be a good time to have a professional headshot taken. I wouldn’t try this if you have a penchant for frequent hairstyle/color changes though. It could get expensive to have professional photos redone every other month-headshots need to be current. A good friend with an eye for photography is also a good choice. Go ahead ask for the favor of a nice, well lit photo of you. That gorgeous pix of you from your brother’s wedding (Before you started drinking and dancing on the tables, you party freak!) is a possibility. Basically, just make sure you have at least two really clear, well-lit photos of you. One headshot and one full-length.
Of equal and sometimes greater importance to the overall sales goal is the charming and on-point advertising copy…or in Date-Speak, The Profile. And in my next post, I will go into great detail about this all important part of your Relationship Marketing Plan. Until then, go get some spectacular product, um, I mean headshots taken!