Sitting at lunch with a good friend of mine who is active in the online dating scene, we began discussing his misadventures. He showed me screen shots of some of the profiles he encountered and as he described in detail the things about the profiles he found off-putting, I heard my own voice echoing in my mind. “How we do anything is how we do everything.”
I started to think about how if this is how someone sells themselves to potential romantic partners, how does their professional online presence look? Some people, products, and services promoted online are making similar mistakes that potential customers and clients may find off-putting. Are you one of them?
Here are some online dating profile mistakes that might help you make positive changes to your professional online presence. (It’s important to note that as my friend is a heterosexual male, this comes from the standpoint of reviewing women’s profiles.)
Mistake: Focusing on the negative/what is NOT desired
Putting attention on the opposite of what you want to achieve or accomplish is rampant in online dating. Writing “not here for a hook-up” on a dating profile is like posting “don’t hesitate to call if you have questions” on your website. When phrasing things in the negative – what is NOT desired – we increase the tendency to create said. “Not here for a hook-up” puts all of the energy on hook-ups. “Don’t hesitate to call” puts the emphasis on “hesitate.” This is “law of attraction” stuff. We attract that on which we focus.
Solution: Keep your eye on the prize
Clear, positive intention for your products and/or services, or yourself, will help online viewers associate you with solutions instead of problems. “Call me/us with questions,” or in the case of dating, “seeking a long-term relationship,” will likely be more efficacious in attracting what you want. (Unless you do, in fact, want to hook-up. No judgment here – just sayin’.)
Mistake: Misrepresenting the truth
Some of the profiles I was shown featured women listing themselves as being a few years younger than they actually were. My buddy told me it’s because they seem to believe (and perhaps accurately) that the men they are seeking are looking for someone just outside of their age range. And by making their profile age a little younger, they can show up in the searches. I totally understand and don’t blame them. However, it creates a credibility problem.
On your professional website or LinkedIn profile, misrepresentation in any way is a killer as it seriously damages your credibility. If a man wants a woman who is 38, he is unlikely to read your profile that says, “I’m actually 43” and think to himself, “Ah, that’s okay.” And don’t even think about leaving that little fact out of the profile only to tell him the truth upon meeting. I have yet to hear about that going well.
Solution: Tell it like it is
If your expertise is close to what someone is seeking, but not quite the same, it’s best to refer them to someone you know is a better fit. You don’t want to make a promise upon which you can’t deliver or deliver on that promise with lower efficiency or accuracy. (And don’t get me started on men who show up 3″ shorter and/or several years older than they state online. Evidently, that is common – thanks to my single female friends who were kind enough to tell me so after reading the rough draft of this article.)
Be honest about who you are, what you offer and how you can be of service to your clients/customers. And if it isn’t a fit, let it go! If you don’t you’ll damage your credibility and, if you actually get the business, you’ll likely drive yourself crazy trying to serve a client that you should have never signed to begin with.
Mistake: Failing to show everything you have to offer
Online dating profiles featuring pictures with sunglasses exclusively, or that don’t show your physique are suspicious. If your eyes aren’t visible, the picture is out of focus, you’re off in the distance, or if you aren’t willing to show a complete image of your body, it looks like your hiding something. The same is true in business. (Here I might also include profiles that feature images only of scenery or pets, but I honestly have no idea what that is about.)
Solution: Show ’em the goods!
Show everything you are and detail all that which you have to offer. Explain why you offer it, the ways in which you do, and to whom. In today’s world, your credentials simply aren’t enough. It’s important not just to be qualified, but also to connect and resonate at a deeper level. People don’t just want to know what you can do for them and how. They want to know who is doing it. They want to know and connect with you.
Share yourself. Tell them your “why.” Be unapologetically authentic. In this edited video, Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” In online dating, people will be more accepting of you if you are accepting of you. Show your eyes, your figure, and your style in the way you dress. On your professional online presence, show your clients who you are as well as what you do. If they don’t accept you for who you are, they aren’t your client anyway. Just as the online dater who doesn’t like your physique – they aren’t your mate.
Mistake: The blank profile/missing online presence
Sometimes in online dating, you’ll come across a profile that only shows pictures with no other information. And sometimes in business, someone won’t have a prominent web presence. This is a no-brainer.
My buddy likes to fish, so he will tell you to use the bait that is going to attract the fish you want. If you want a sugar-daddy, someone who is looking for a trophy wife, a party girl, or someone who is only interested in your physique, post nothing but images of your bikini-clad body at the bar on the sand in Cabo. If you want someone who is only interested in your money, put an image of you standing by your Porche, laying pool side at your mansion, or paddle boarding in Fiji.
Solution: Be everywhere!
If all you offer in your professional online presence is a website that is “under construction” or an email address featuring a generic domain (Yahoo!, Gmail. etc.), it’s unlikely you’re going to get the kind of clients you desire. If your clients are of the Millennial generation, it’s probably a good idea for you to have a YouTube channel, a Twitter feed and perhaps even use Snapchat (as long as these makes sense for your business). Use what your customers/clients use, be where they go, and engage in their ways. Be everywhere they are all of the time, and ensure your business is accessible to them.
Mistake: Failing to immediately capture attention
In this world of swiping left and right, you have less than one second to capture someone’s attention and gain interest. If your online dating image isn’t instantly interesting in some way to your target potential mate, you’re done. The same is true for your professional online presence.
Solution: Get them immediately engaged!
Be interesting. Be different. Be dynamic. Be whatever is authentic to you, and of interest to your target audience, and be that immediately. Failure to do so will have your potential customer/client “swiping left” on you and moving on to your competition.
What of these mistakes have you made in business? What changes did you make to correct them? Like, share or comment on Facebook! And for inspirational messages (or random goofy stuff) follow me on Twitter and Instagram!
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About the Author -

Executive coach and motivational speaker Chris M. King facilitates the mind shift necessary for professionals and organizations to achieve authentic success and empowerment. Clients experience productivity increases of up to 40%, freedom from burnout and overwhelm, clarity in times of transition, dramatically improved work/life balance, answers to "what's next," creative solutions for innovation, and an overall increase in satisfaction in career and in life. And he does all of this without ever giving advice! Chris doesn't show them THE way. He guides them in finding THEIR way. An emerging thought leader in the men's movement, Chris also works with professional men and women on accountability, vulnerability, and empowerment. He specifically addresses the issues associated with mid-life crises and Peter Pan Syndrome. He is a volunteer for ManKind Project International, a contributing author to The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal, and is honored to be working with Sam Morris as a contributor to Zen Warrior Training®, helping people achieve self-mastery. Chris is also a coach at Project Bully Buster, coaching teens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. He is honored to work with and support organizations dedicated to the men’s movement, to women's issues, and, as brother to a special needs sister, the US Special Olympics. Chris is currently working on his first book.


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