Early in my career, I went for a lunchtime swim with a colleague. As we headed back to our offices she said, “I checked you out and you have a good body”. “You checked me out? Ew…when?” I asked. “When you were showering”, she replied. She turned down the hall and left me standing there mentally polarized.
On one hand, I was just told that I had a good body. Awesome! On the other hand, I was also just told that my colleague not only saw me naked, she gave me the once-over.
I ran behind her and said “You checked me out when I was naked?” “Well…duh”, she replied (back when duh was as popular as the word transparency is today). “But, but….You’re not supposed to look!” I screeched. “Everyone looks”, she replied while keeping the “duh” expression on her face (she was pretty hip for the time).
Since then, I’ve discovered that she’s right – everyone looks. The furtive urinal glance by men is an undeniable fact of life even though men deny it, which I suppose, means it’s not undeniable…hummm…anyway, I’m confusing myself. The point is that everyone looks.
What in the world could this possibly have to do with online dating?
Whether you’re at a party, pool, urinal, or an online dating site, it’s important to check out the competition. Before you post your dating profile and your profile photo, I strongly suggest you see what’s out there first. That way you can not only avoid making their same mistakes, you can avoid doing anything similar to them altogether. It’s essential that you be different so that you can stand out.
Do you know what worst words in advertising are besides “Kate! What did you say to the client this time!!???” They are: “Can I have an ad just like this one?”
Every ad person has heard those dreaded words from clients who naively think that if an ad is working for a competitor, they can just copy it and it will work for them too. It won’t. In fact, your ad will simply make people think of your competitor. Worse still, if it’s a good ad, people will think of your competitor in a positive way. Not the best competitive strategy, right?
So, the lesson is this: check out the competition and make sure that you don’t do what they’re doing. In a previous blog I mentioned that the best way to be unique is through the use of anecdotes. It’s truly the surest way not to sound like everyone else.
Also, while you’re checking out the competition, check it out in the same way that your ideal match is doing it. Here’s what I mean: if you’re a woman looking for a guy, then check out all the women he’d be checking in one sitting. Most people read about 20 profiles at a time. That’s a lot of reading and, usually, a lot of reading the same old thing. So I urge you to do your best to entertain, engage and surprise your reader. Be the life of the party – that’s what a dating site is. It’s a virtual singles party and, too often, it’s as boring as an episode of Family Jewels. Seriously, I thought Gene creepy Simmons was dull, but his family makes me want to will myself into a coma. Ugh.