Need help putting together a good dating app profile? Ask the professionals
Dating is now a mega-industry with apps and platforms galore courting users, as well as professional supports to help singles have more success.
Dating and dating apps are impossible to separate. It’s increasingly rare to find a roaming single who is not on a dating app. So much so that eyebrows are raised when a friend announces they met their new beau any other way than via the portal of their phone screens.
As the popularity of dating apps has increased, so too has the demand for professional services to help add some extra lipstick to a profile. Experts can be hired to write engaging bios. Experienced photographers are available to snap glossy photos for Tinder. There are books on the market that are full of advice and classes are being offered by people who present themselves as virtuosos of the right swipe.
It’s easy to understand the appeal. Searching a dating app for a strong connection can feel like engaging in some kind of free-for-all battle royale. It’s been found that women spend only 3.19 seconds on average looking at a profile on Hinge before determining they find that person attractive. With so much of the experience being about brevity, fine margins matter, and so some users will seek all the help they can get to edge out the competition.
Moreover, while dating apps can seem omnipresent to the long-term or regularly single, they’re a daunting world to those who might be exiting a long-term relationship. For these people, there’s an appeal to hiring a professional to help take their first steps on this new terrain.
“I’ve written profiles for everybody from 21 to 80,” says pro profile writer Lydia Kociuba. “But, generally, the niche is more 40-plus.”
Lydia established her company Hidden Gems Profiles in 2015 with the intent of combining three of her interests: online dating, creative writing, and entrepreneurship. Based in New York state, the company takes on clients from all over the world, including Ireland, with most finding it through a simple Google search as they look for help with the dating app universe. The growth of Hidden Gems has seen Lydia employ a second writer.
“It’s the same as asking for help with anything that you don’t really feel that good with,” she explains. “You want that reassurance that, ‘OK, this person knows what they’re doing.’ … If you ask for help with your profile and you know that you’re putting [the profile] out there, and an expert said it was good, then you can have that one little level of feeling confident and then you just build on it.”
The process at Hidden Gems Profiles is simple. Lydia sends clients an extensive questionnaire and uses the information provided to compose a snappy bio that works best for whatever dating platform they are using – Hinge, Tinder, Match, Bumble, Grindr, eHarmony… whatever. Most of her clients are looking for love, but she’s worked with people who seek short-term hook ups too. Whatever the case, Lydia tries to bring forth the person’s values within the tight confines of the app’s character limits.
“That’s something I think people forget,” she says. “People like to focus on the things that they like to do, hobby-wise, and they forget to talk about those fundamental virtues that make them who they are and the things they value in life.”
She continues, “My goal for people is to get them starting conversations, because that’s the goal of your dating profile, is to start conversations. After that is when the human nature stuff kicks in.”
Bios are only half – OK, maybe even just 40 percent – of the equation. If there’s a universal commonality among every person who has set up a dating app profile, it’s the experience of trawling through dozens of photos of themselves to select the finest. That the images are of the user looking their best is crucial, so much so that taking dating profile snaps has become part of the photography business. One photographer specialising in the creative arts recently told me of their plans to establish a breakaway service more focused on dating profile images.
Consider, too, the trajectory of Sean De Búrca who, in 2020, took part in some media interviews describing his move from Brooklyn, New York – where he’d been a photographer for 20 years – to his home in West Cork, where he began putting up posters advertising his services for anyone looking for new Tinder pics.
“I just want to give people a better chance when it comes to online dating,” Sean told The Southern Star. “I do recommend people take their own selfies, but a lot of people don’t like taking photographs and think they don’t look nice in them, so that’s where I come in.”
The business of dating – ‘Dating Inc’ – is not new, of course. Services that can profit off seeking singles have long existed and will continue to change with new technology and trends. The dating app industry itself reported about $2.6 billion in revenue in 2022 and is expected to see at least 10% annual growth through the end of the decade. As with anything, there is the threat of snake oil salesmen wriggling through the door. But there are solid options available to give users a crucial edge – or at least the confidence of feeling they’ve an edge, which can be just as important.
Tinder’s slogan is ‘It starts with a swipe’. Sometimes, though, there’s a layer of preparation with a team of experts that comes even before that.
Looking for experts to help you navigate the dating world? Boost your confidence with a dara & co masterclass from life coach Mark Fennell, and learn everything you need to know about the cyberpsychology of online dating from Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton.