Online dating profiles and the beauty of imperfection.

I remember writing a slogan for a new telecommunications company. They were relatively small, but very innovative. The slogan made it clear that the reason they were so innovative was because they were small enough to be flexible and responsive to new technology.

Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself!

The marketing team and I went through layers of presentations where we worked our way up from the client’s junior staff to its senior management. Every presentation had gone incredibly well. Everyone felt good about how the slogan represented the company. They also
loved being the “little engine that could”. Everyone but one person. After making our way up the ladder and gaining approvals all along the way, one man nearly toppled all the brilliant work we did by saying “but that slogan makes us sound small. I want us to be a big player.”

Let me tell you, I’m not slick. If my mouth doesn’t blurt out what I’m thinking, my face shows it. Fortunately, my face and mouth behaved in a surprisingly calm and diplomatic manner, and I said, “I want you to be a big player too – and let me tell you the best place for us to start”. (Soooooo smooth!)

At this point I brought up two ad campaigns that were wildly successful at making two small players become recognized and very likeable brands. The first was Avis’ campaign – We’re number 2 so we try harder. The other campaign was (and continues to be) the slogan for Buckley’s cough syrup – It tastes bad but it works.

There’s nothing like honesty and self-effacing humor to make people relax and feel at ease with you. This is especially important when you’re trying to build a rapport between yourself and strangers. Basically, the technique that I encouraged my telecommunications client to use is the same technique that I use time and again in the profiles I write. I always look for a person’s quirks and imperfections. I look for the things that they’re teased about or that they laugh at themselves about.

When you admit to some silly quirk on your dating profile, it gives readers a smile and sometimes a chuckle. This is a wonderful reaction.  They don’t know you – they haven’t even met you – yet allready they’ve begun to like you. How advantageous is that!

In short, our imperfections – rather, our admissions of them – can have all kinds of appeal. So when you’re filling out your online dating profile, don’t take yourself too seriously. Though I encourage you to take a confident and positive spin on yourself, I also suggest that you to add in a few little quirks.

For instance, I’m a terrible cook and once added garlic to a pancake mixture. Worse still, I didn’t realize it was a pancake recipe because I thought I was making quiche.

This kind of imperfection is an ideal admission to make on your dating profile. It’s not a terrible imperfection (though my Mom who was the first to bite into the garlic pancakes may disagree), nor is it some inappropriate confession. All it is a quirky, self-effacing revelation that could put potential suitors at ease.

By being down to earth and self-effacing, you’re more likely to make people comfortable about approaching you. In addition, if they send you an email, your fun revelation could inspire them to reveal one of their own. As such, you begin exchanges on a comfortable, fun note. That’s always a great way to start!

Better still, let me find the charming quirks and imperfections that can make people like you before even meeting you. As a professional ad writer and marketing expert, that’s what I’m trained to do.

Check out the online dating samples of my work. Better still, go straight to the personality quiz. It costs nothing to do, but will help you uncover some of your unique traits, which is the first step in writing an online dating profile that stands out.

If you like the blogs, then I think you’ll like the tweets. Would love to see you on Facebook too.


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4 Responses to Online dating profiles and the beauty of imperfection.

  1. Susan says:

    Garlic pancakes. Yum. A new idea for dinner tonight, kids!

  2. susie says:

    Great example Kate! Good point! I love using humour as a buffer and feel it adds an approachability to a person. Although, sometime using humour on blogs and such can often be missed b/c your missing out on that verbal/body language dialogue which helps transmit the humorous message…all in all though, being easy going and funny is always a plus…

  3. Sandra says:

    “There’s nothing like honesty and self-effacing humor to make people relax and feel at ease with you.”

    I think this is so spot on! Interesting too… I’m a lawyer and this is one of the things that we learn about assessing credibility and demonstrating credibility in court. There’s even a legalese term for it “admissions against interest”… and ironically, these so called admissions against interest do much more for a witness than any complicated slick story weaving could. It makes sense. You’ve struck on a very natural and interesting way in which this plays out!

  4. kate says:

    That’s so interesting. Thanks for the insight!

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