This is a typical setting in today’s dating scene: you went through college dating a bunch of people and never thought of relationships beyond graduation. Suddenly you hit your mid 20s and you’re either with a job or wasting your time at home and you soon realize that one night stands or passing hookups are not cutting it anymore, because you need someone who can stand by your side, someone you can spend the next couple of years with, someone who you can talk to without trying to pick them up in a bar, basically, finding a partner.
2 weeks ago someone approached me after reading the article on personal branding, and wanted some advice on how to tailor his personal branding and online presence in order to find his sweetheart. In college you can just take a class with your crush, bump into her in the hallway or ask her best friend to vouch for you. But after college, things get a little more complicated!
Here is the call for help; these couple of words would resonate with thousands out there who are facing the same problem:
“My friend Andrew and I are both approaching our mid 20s and are single. We decided to give online dating a shot. Neither one of us have received as much attention as we thought we would. And after rereading my profile I realized it lacks luster. So after reading your article I’ve decided to reach out and try to refocus and update my social media profiles and online dating profile as an experiment.”
Now, ask yourselves; if I were a startup or a company, how would I appeal to prospective clients, employees, partners and sponsors? Exactly! The same tools used for business promotion online can be used for personal brand exposure. It all boils down to thinking about yourself as a company rather than an individual, once you do that you start becoming strategic about every step you take rather than doing stupid things for the sake of having fun or coming across as genuine. Posting your pictures from last night puking all over or wearing a bra may gain you some friends and a couple of laughs, but if you’re looking for a serious relationship, you better start treating your online presence as a CV and a cover letter.
So first things first, what’s the kind of girls you want to appeal to, because if you’re going to update your social profiles, you want to update them in a way that will attract the certain type of girls you have in mind. There are the one night stands, there are the overly attached, the ones attracted to intelligence and achievements, the gold diggers – you cannot take the first step and change where you are unless you know where you want to be. So, what’s your type of dream girlfriend?
If you’re a graduate and are looking for a serious relationship, then you’d most likely look into appealing to independent, classy, goal oriented and smart partners. You are seeking a deeper relationship because time to have reckless fun is over. You had your shot in university, now is time to refocus and get your life in order.
If you’re looking for a deep relationship and having girls reach out to you, you’ll have to change the way you post photos, status updates and any content you share. You want to portray an image of a guy who is independent, a guy who has a vision, a goal and that doesn’t need someone in his life, at least not desperate for it.
Less is more in this case, and you want to make sure that the pictures of yourself you put out there are highly selected. Don’t post your pictures staring at another chick’s cleavage, don’t post the cute pictures where you still look like a mama’s boy, only post pictures where you look like a boss, if you keep it that way, girls will start believing that that’s your life, that all you do is show up in tuxedos or suits, network with important people and do astonishing things, they will start thinking about you as “A Boss” because you didn’t give them an alternative image of yourself to look at.
It’s also good to post pictures with girls who look up to you, who want you, who you really don’t care about about but seem dying to have your attention. If you show them that there are chicks out there competing for you, then they’ll join in to get you because suddenly you look like a prize, a challenge, a man.
As much as you check girls online, they do the exact same thing, and if you are not clear about what your goals are or how determined you are in life, they´ll start asking questions; “is this guy for real?” He doesn’t seem to know what he wants? He doesn’t seem to have a set direction in life” and trust me, they don’t want to settle with a man who doesn’t know what he wants in life.
One more thing, and this is something we’re all guilty of: Don’t over post your hangouts with your buddies, don’t stress too much on how you like hanging out with your boys. It shows that you are just another fraternity freak who wants his beer and his “boys”. A girl who wants to settle wants a guy who’ll spend time with her, who’ll take care of her and who will not get out of the house every evening to hang out with his pals. Instead, show how much of a risk taker you can be. Post your latest pictures skydiving, hiking, speaking at a conference, traveling to new places or reading a book on a Caribbean beach. Women will think that you are a somebody who has the balls to take risks and go into adventures, she will assume things, dramatize you in her mind, and associate you with the romantic characters she heard or read about again and again and again.
But most importantly, you have to align your online reality with your offline behavior. Make aspirations your everyday reality, don’t project yourself as something on the web and be something else in real life, because this usually fails and trust me, girls see right through it.
More people today are living most of their lives online, spending the day on Facebook and the night tweeting on how amazing their dinner was. Social media has made us more connected than ever but also more vulnerable because privacy nowadays is something of the past. You are an open book, anyone can check you out with one click, and if you are spending every morning in front of the mirror taking care of your image or practicing your lines, you may just as well start spending that much effort on rehabilitating your online profiles. The twist is, if you are an open book, you might consider writing your own pages and engineering your own story line. Getting a meaningful relationship is hard, and to attract the right people is often mission impossible in the midst of millions and millions of online interactions. It’s like fishing, you have to be patient, and choose your bait carefull. If you put an attractive, compelling, and carefully designed hook out there, catching the right fish may just be a matter of time.