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Advertising And Writing An Online Dating Profile

I don’t know why some people think advertising is a dirty word. It is as natural as natural can be.

Peacocks advertise. How many different species preen in order to win a mate? That is advertising.

Without advertising, we would have no way of knowing about goods and services that will truly

improve our lives. Or that someone to be crazy about.

OK, I have a theory why some think it a dirty word. It’s because of those few who engage in

dishonest advertising. Picture the overeager used-car salesman telling you that her motor is

absolutely fine. She’ll easily last another 300,000 miles!

Another negative impression of advertising is that it tends to be a bit “over-the-top.” Somebody

going absolutely bonkers about soap pads. Some insurance company being the Savior of the

World. You know what I mean. Neither of these are the honorable skill of advertising. Good

advertising is


and, therefore, a true

to society.

And that is the kind of advertising you will do when you write an online dating profile. Honest,

congruent and, therefore, effective, advertising is what we are after. There are some valuable

lessons to be learned from the profession and skill of advertising. These lessons can be applied to

online dating and make your profile a magnet for the people you really want to meet.

Headlines in advertising serve three crucial functions:

1. They catch the attention of the reader.

2. They express the essence of what the advertisement is about.

3. They create a want in the reader to read the entire advertisement.

Let’s look at each of these some more.

If someone doesn’t stop to read your profile, they’ll obviously never respond to it. A good headline

gets them to stop and read the profile. It can do this with bold language, such as “crazy woman

seeks crazy man,” or some other unique phrase. It can do it with humor, such as “I am not funny”.

It can be a curiosity headline, such as “find the buried treasure.” I’m sure you can do better than

these examples, so do it!

Catching attention is not enough. If you catch attention for the wrong things, you’ll get responses

that you don’t want. A headline such as “invite me to an orgy” is not the headline you want to use

if you’re looking for a serious relationship. It may catch attention, but from whom? A good idea is

to put something of your uniqueness into the headline, such as “if you like to sing…” for a

musician. See where I’m going with this?

Thirdly, you want them to read all of the profile essays you worked so hard on. Why is that?

Because the longer they are focused on your profile, the more they will consider responding to it.

Your headline should promise, either through arousing curiosity or being straightforward, some

benefits from reading on. A modified great headline might be “if you like to sing… read the third

paragraph below.” However you do it, bring them into your world through the headline.

One of the great advertising copywriters, a man named John Caples, scientifically studied whether

long advertising copy or short advertising copy was more effective. He proved that long

advertising copy worked better. As we said before, the longer people are engaged with your

profile, the more interested they will become. So, first of all, don’t be afraid to write. But write to

drive up interest. How do you do that?

One technique is to keep the promise of more interesting information coming up soon. Just like a

good novel reveals some information and conceals more information, so can you do this in your

essay. The ideal is to make them interested enough to write you a message asking “what

happens next?” In other words, you want to reveal enough about yourself to pique their interest, to

make them want to send you a message and learn more.

In advertising, two crucial words are “

” and “

“. “Features” describe the product.

“Benefits” describe what those features will do to improve the lives of the consumers. Your

features are your personality, skills, career, family, everything about you. They will bring specific

benefits to whomever you choose to share your life with. Nobody likes a braggart, so avoid going

that route. Instead, simply talk about who you are and the benefits should be clear. If not, don’t be

afraid to spell them out in an honest way.

So many people will tell you to “be yourself.” I’m never sure what that means. How could I be

someone else? So here is how I understand that:


Too often we go overboard in trying to please others. We try to tell them what they want to hear.

That approach may succeed in the short term, but the other person will quickly realize that the

relationship is being built on false pretenses.

Don’t try sound like some “cool” Hollywood star. Write like you speak. Talk about who you are.

Even mention one or two of your foibles — it makes you more human. When I read a profile that

lets me imagine the voice of the person writing, I am much more interested. That, to me, sounds

like a real person. When they tell me something about themselves, I’m more inclined to believe it

and want to know them better.

There is a lot to be learned from advertising. The one major difference is that in advertising, you

want to have as many customers as possible. In online dating, it’s not quantity that counts, it’s the

quality. You only need one special person to be crazy about. The more your profile/advertisement

reflects the uniqueness of you, the more it will attract the right person. Don’t be afraid to be

! Go for it.