We all have one and they’re critical! Profile photos are attached to our social media, mobile applications, and dating accounts. I believe 95% of the decision to contact or respond to someone online is based on the photo. The fast growth of new applications like Swoon and Tinder (photo based and optimized for the small screen) are forcing us even more to focus on photos. If a picture was worth a thousand words in the 1920s, it’s worth a billion words today. As a professional matchmaker, I see hundreds of photos daily. What amazes me is how ever slight tweaks can take a photo from “terrible” to “compelling.” This curiosity of what makes a photo standout is what led me to dig deep and research extensively (across 20 million people) to find out exactly what you can do to increase the number of people who interact with your profile.
1. Simply, have a photo.
Profiles with a photo get 500% the number of messages than those without.
People are 45% more likely to select your profile photo if you’re smiling.
3. Take off your glasses!
People are 28% less likely to click on you if you’re wearing glasses in your profile picture.
4. Pucker up!
If your lips are parted (i.e., not sealed), people are 5% more likely to select you, and if you make a “kissing” face you are 32% more likely to get selected, versus just keeping your lips sealed.
5. Put on a happy face!
If you appear angry or sad in your photo, people are 12% less likely to click on you.
6. Do something representing a passion in your photo!
Profile pictures of people actually doing something interesting leads to three times the amount of interest (and a much higher quality of contacts).
7. Don’t worry about trying to look younger.
Fine is fine, no matter the age. Attractiveness always overshadows age. So, if you look good, don’t worry about not being contacted because you’re “too old.”
8. Natural light is the best light.
Bad light in a photo can age you as much as 10 years. Your highest level of attractiveness will come from a naturally lit photo.
9. Candid photos are much better than posed.
Contrary to common belief, photos that convey less effort receive two times the messages than professionally posed photos.
(If you have to pose, Ladies. Holding your camera above your head, being coy and flirting with direct eye contact with the camera gets the most messages.)
10. Clean up your background or else.
One third of people reported not contacting someone based on clutter in the background of a photo.
Three photos are more effective than having more or less. Profiles that contain exactly three photos receive up to 85 percent more messages than profiles with more or fewer.
11. The Golden Ratio is a woman’s most important photo.
Ladies, if your full body photo alludes that your waist is 70% or less than your hips, it will be considered universally “sexy.”
(The Adonis Effect is a man’s most important photo. Fellas, if your full body photo if your waist appears 70% or less of your shoulders, this is considered the “ideal” Adonis Index and your body will be universally considered “sexy.”)
12. A little cleavage can make a lot of difference. Cleavage shots gain women up to 80 percent more messages than those without.
13. Get up close and personal.
Putting too much distance between you and the camera suggests you’re hiding something. Twenty-three percent of people reported not contacting someone because they couldn’t easily see a photo.
14. The color red delivers highest results.
Correlated research shows men and women find people in red more sexually appealing than in any other color. In particular, women who wear red in photos are considered more interesting and messaged more.
15. Go solo and no hot friends.
If your attractiveness is trumped by someone in your profile photo, you will receive 80 percent fewer messages.
16. Avoid the obvious.
WARNING, If you have any of the following in your picture, you will receive up to 87 percent fewer messages.
- Background is the bathroom.
- Holding cash.
- Leaning against a car.
- With no shirt on.
- With a cut-out of your ex.
Sources: Tagged.com, OkCupid.com, Color and cyber-attractiveness: Red enhances men's attraction to women's internet personal ads (Nicolas Guéguen, Céline Jacob), Paulcbrunson.com, Carl Brunson for Gianttt.com, It’s Complicated But It Doesn’t Have To Be
Comments, concerns or questions about my advice? Tell me about it below! Paul Carrick Brunson is a 2013 NAACP Image Award nominee and a 2012 iDate Matchmaker & Relationship Coach Of The Year nominee. His bestselling book It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be) is in stores now. Contact him directly on Facebook or Twitter anytime or visit his website.