In every new Dating Mastery Program cycle, I always get a new set of students asking me questions like, “Hey Rob, I just don’t get it or understand how Tinder works. How do you make a good Tinder profile, how exactly do you do it? What constitutes a good Tinder profile and what should I do?”
While dating has certainly evolved with the times, it’s become a social norm to meet people on dating apps. Whether you’re fresh off a long-term relationship that just didn’t go according to plan, completely inexperienced with women to the point that you’ve never kissed a girl, or you’re moderately successful with women in person but you’re pressed for time and can’t figure out how Tinder works and why you’re not getting any matches, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get into the gist of how to make a good Tinder profile, it’s important to understand the dynamics and differences between how men and women utilize the app. Having a good understanding of these principles will help you make better decisions and use Tinder to it’s full potential, no matter how you may feel about or view yourself. Also, it’s important you approach Tinder and any other dating app with the intention of improving your dating skills and having fun. The biggest mistake a lot of men make in terms of dating apps is exclusively relying on it to meet women.
Until the folks over at Tinder or a young tech entrepreneur develops an app or technology that will incorporate non-verbal communication, which is essential to the bulk of human interaction and dating, nothing substitutes actively putting yourself out there and working on your skills live and in person with real people.
Whether you’re an experienced dater, coming off a long relationship that didn’t pan out well, or a total novice with dating, I highly suggest that you use Tinder to work on your skills, set up dates, and as an extension and supplement to meeting women rather than a complete means to an end.
Having a healthy mindset towards Tinder and other forms of online dating will save you a lot of grief, anger, resentment, and frustration whenever your matches don’t respond, you get unmatched, or you don’t get many matches. In a nutshell, don’t take it seriously, because you’re playing the odds, and it’s still a numbers game at the end of the day.
Tinder Psychology 101
Now that we got that out of the way, it’s important to understand that Tinder and most other dating apps are utilized in completely different ways by men and women. For women, the supply is higher than the demand. For men, the demand is higher than the supply. Regardless of the exact statistics on online dating apps, if you’re an average looking or even good looking guy but you have terrible pictures and no bio, you’re up shit’s creek without a paddle.
It doesn’t matter how many swipes and likes you send out, if you don’t take advantage of optimizing your profile, the competition along with the complicated algorithms set up by these dating apps will toss your profile to the wayside. Women have to be far more selective on online dating apps, because a large percentage of the men on the app will like her profile. If she swipes right, it’s another match and another random guy bombarding her with messages.
Like I said, keeping your emotions in check like a skilled blackjack or poker player is a huge factor in playing the online dating game. If you don’t believe me, when you hang out with one of your female friends, ask her if she uses Tinder or any online dating apps and either ask her about her experience on it or if you can mess around with her profile.
If she lets you do the latter, go to town and start swiping right. You’ll be surprised at the high volume of matches that you’ll get in under 30 minutes, compounded with the amount of messages she’ll be getting on her profile if her notifications aren’t turned off.
But if you don’t have any female friends who use online dating apps, I suggest creating a dummy profile on Tinder. Any generic pictures of a pretty girl that you find on Google will do. Start swiping away once you have a believable dummy profile set up, and wait and see how many matches and messages you’ll get. Just look at how overwhelming and impossible it is to sustain multiple conversations when you have a barrage of matches and messages on your profile.
According to a report by the New York Times, men swipe right on Tinder 46 percent of the time and women only swipe right 14 percent of the time. That means there’s a lot more guys swiping right than there are women swiping right. A good percentage of guys who have no idea what the hell they’re doing jump the gun and send the typical “let’s fuck” or a nude too soon, ruining the experience for the rest of the men on the app.
Women are a little more complex and have to be selective on Tinder and other dating apps. Whether it’s a casual hookup or a long-term relationship, this means a lot of other variables are taken into consideration besides your natural sex appeal. Your pictures, bio, and interests will do most of the selling.
So when you’re setting up your Tinder profile or any online dating profile for that matter, there are two key takeaways you need to keep in mind:
- Don’t take it personally if a girl doesn’t respond back; sometimes it isn’t even your communication skills or lack-thereof. A lot of the time it’s the sheer volume of matches and messages she’s getting, and she either just got fed up with trying to answer every guy or another guy did something really stupid like send her a picture of his penis, which completely turned her off to the app.
- Because of the high volume of competition, the dating app game is all about standing out as much as possible. If you do manage to match with a girl and you don’t make a good impression or move the interaction off the app after a few consistent exchanges, you will be forgotten and your profile will be tossed to the wayside because of the high volume of men messaging her.
I don’t mean to sound cynical or crude. My job is to simply tell you the cold hard truths of how Tinder and other online dating apps work.
Tinder Algorithm Blues
I don’t want to break your spirit, but besides understanding the differences of how men and women use dating apps, you have to understand that Tinder’s algorithm is designed to curate and rank profiles based on your behavior on the app, the amount of times you swipe, the time you spend looking through her profile, reading her bio, slowly skimming through her pictures, and maybe even looking at her Instagram connected photos.
Back in the old days when Tinder was new, the system was relatively easy to manage, and the best solution to get the most matches (since they had the unlimited swipe feature for free in the beginning) was to literally swipe right until your thumb fell off. While this strategy seemed a little inefficient, it ensured that you had enough of a volume of matches that you could look through, chat with, or un-match if the girl was not your type.
These days, even if you pay for the premium version of Tinder, which gives you the unlimited swipe feature, view which profiles already swiped right on you (if you have the gold feature), the rewind your last swipe feature, super like, Tinder boost, hide your age and location feature, and location change, the algorithm will punish you for trying to blatantly game the system by swiping right on every girl.
Back in 2016 or 2015, Tinder upgraded it’s algorithm to give you something called an ELO score. In a nutshell, Tinder assigns your profile a score that only Tinder knows and what it’s intended to do is give your profile a score and decide who can see your profile.
For example, if you’re like every guy on Tinder using the old swipe right on everything strategy, the new algorithm will punish you by lowering your score and only showing your profile to the least swiped profiles on Tinder if you’re lucky, or not give you any matches.
A high ELO score, on the other hand, will reward you by showing your profile to the most desired and most swiped right profiles on Tinder. This means that you’ll get the most attractive and best matches on the app. It’s not based on how attractive you actually are per se. It’s based on your behavior on the app such as:
- The amount of times you swipe right and left (how picky you are).
- The quality of your pictures (turn on the smart photos feature).
- How much of your profile has been filled out including where you went to school, where you work, etc.
- If you filled out your bio section.
- If all your matches are responding or if you’re actually messaging your matches (I suggest you talk to whatever matches your given even).
- Time on profile (how long you’re looking through her profile and if you’re actually reading her bio).
- If you linked your Instagram or Spotify playlist.
If you want to understand about Tinder’s ELO scoring, take a look at this article on the Tinder secret success rate.
As discouraging and superficial as it may all sound, there’s ways to improve your ELO score, get more quality matches, and have a better experience on Tinder. You’ll have to put in a little work to make a good Tinder profile, but at the end of the day as long as you follow these tips and approach Tinder as an extension of your dating life rather than a means to an end, you’ll have a lot of fun improving your dating skills and maybe even meet your next girlfriend on this app.
First Impressions Count, So Make Your Pictures Bulletproof
Pictures make the difference in the online dating world; perception is everything. I’m not saying you have to go over the top and post Dan Bilzerian-esque photos of you jumping out of planes, rescuing puppies, and being surrounded by tons of beautiful women (if you do pull all of that off, brownie points for creativity). But you do have to stand out in the online dating world. When she’s checking out your Tinder profile, she’s noticing everything about your photos.
Thanks to a psychological phenomenon called “thin slicing,” she’s making a series of micro judgments on all of your photos. Simple things like how you dress, your facial expressions, body language, surroundings, and the type of people you hang out with. All these little things tell a story about you, whether it’s true or not.
So be mindful, get high contrast photos, wear clothes that fit well, and if you don’t want to take the pictures yourself or do the photo-shopping and touch ups, I highly suggest you find a photographer friend or hire a photographer to help you out. Plan a day out where you will take multiple photos. Just make sure you have different outfits, styles, and scenarios so it doesn’t look like you literally planned a day out to get your best photos taken.
Having bulletproof photos will improve your ELO score and ranking on Tinder. Before you post those new touched up photo shoot pictures, I suggest you utilize this photo testing tool. Also, have your female friends help you curate your best shots for your online dating profile. The more feedback and the more you stress-test it, the better the results.
Make sure you use all six photo slots (an example template is provided below). It will improve your ELO score and market value on the app, and is going to be your primary selling point since pictures tell a thousand words.
Your photos need to be arranged in a certain way to maximize your best assets and showcase the best aspects of your personality. I’ve used this template for years and have utilized it with my students:
- Professional headshot or full-body shot (if you’re in really good shape)
- Photo of you playing with your dog or cat (if you have neither, borrow your friend’s dog for a few hours)
- Action shot (could be a candid of you reading, working out with friends, hiking, traveling, or at work)
- Group of friends shot (could be at happy hour, a music festival, traveling with your friends, or at a party). I highly recommend you have a picture with a mix of both your guy friends and girl friends. Having only girls in your photo make you look like a player off the bat, or if it’s with your sister or best female friend, women on Tinder will mistake that person as your ex-girlfriend. Having only guys in your photo makes it look like you only hang out with guys. So have a mix and make sure you’re in the middle of the shot, which sub-communicates that you’re a leader and have the highest value among your social circles.
- The last one can be anything from a candid action shot of you doing something like volunteering, playing music, or a photo with your family. I always use a picture with my family that includes my brother and sisters and extended relatives. It communicates that family is important to me and that I’m a family oriented person.
For the love of God or whatever higher power you believe in, please do not post theses kinds of shots:
- Shirtless picture with no context (meaning it’s really obvious you’re trying to show off your body). If you’re gonna do that, I suggest getting an action shot of you at the beach paddle boarding or surfing. Remember, the key word is “context.”
- Shirtless mirror picture
- Picture of you doing something stupid like a keg stand (put your frat days behind you, it’s not cool anymore) or obscene like taking a shit or pulling part of your pants out and pretending the Washington Monument is your penis (trust me, I’ve seen these Tinder fails before).
- Blurry, low quality, low resolution, and/or grainy pictures
- Pictures of you in ill-fitting clothing
- Pictures of you with a Hooters girl or those girls who are paid to stand around in a two-piece at a trade show
- Photos that are too similar (remember, you’re trying to showcase the different positive aspects of your personality. If you’re taking professional shots, make sure you have different outfits and different scenarios).
- Pictures of you doing boring and mundane activities like washing the dishes (even if you look good, she’ll wonder why you don’t have anything exciting to share).
- All group photos only (she won’t be able to tell which one is you)
- Cheesy Snapchat filters
- A picture of you holding a fish you caught
- A photo that does not have you in it (i.e. a picture of your car only)
- Pictures of you forcing a smile
- Pictures of you with kids (this is a double-edged sword). I tried this before with my nephew when he was still a baby, and every girl I did match with thought as cute as my nephew was that he was my son. You’re probably unintentionally isolating a large portion of the population on Tinder and other dating apps, so I suggest that you don’t use a picture of you with your niece, nephew, baby brother or sister, etc.
If you want a visual reference, you can also follow this template for the best Tinder photos to use.
Write a Great Bio
This area is a little tricky and at times very confusing, since there are so many tips out there on how long a bio should be and what kind of information you should provide. Just like what I said about boosting your ELO score by putting in very high quality photos, the more complete your profile is, the better.
I’m not saying that you have to write your entire life story, but write one that provides enough conversation hooks for her to be intrigued and includes things that communicate your humor, interests, and career or goals.
The best Tinder bios have 3 key elements:
- The hook (grabbing her attention).
- It’s classy just like your photos. Remember, even if you’re just trying to hook up, you don’t want to look thirsty, desperate, or illiterate.
- It makes her laugh.
- Bonus tip: If you’re six feet tall and over, include your height.
You can take a look at this resource to get a clear idea of how to craft and figure out the best bio that works for you:
Now I’m not saying to copy and paste the examples here word for word. If you don’t have any idea of what to write, I suggest you write a thought web or get a piece of paper and make a list of your interests, hobbies, and aspirations and align it with one of your favorite bio examples or templates.
There’s nothing sexier to a girl than being passionate about something. Remember, your bio and pictures are supposed to elicit positive emotions. If you want some ideas of how to elicit positive emotions, take a look at this list of qualities in men that women find attractive. You can also incorporate some of these ideas in your pictures.
Bio No No’s:
I’ve seen girls make these mistakes, but since most men are wired to be attracted towards visuals and probably follow the swipe right on everything strategy, most women can get away with having no bio and just post their best pictures along with linking their Instagram.
For you, whether you’re the spitting image of Channing Tatum or you look like Danny DeVito, besides getting the best quality pictures and crafting a good bio, do not under any circumstance commit these sins:
- Grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. I don’t care if you’re an aspiring lyricist, MC, or slam poet, just like how your grade school teacher took off points for grammar and spelling errors, take your time to proofread and spell correctly. Fortunately, most phones come with auto-spell check. Remember, perception is everything, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot and miscommunicate to her that you’re illiterate or uneducated.
- Don’t just list personal facts. You’re trying to get more dates, not land a job interview. So if you are going to list facts, you might as well list the things you’re interested in with a catchy one-liner.
- Don’t put your Instagram or Snapchat handle in your profile. Some girls are surprisingly weirded out by this, and might think it’s revealing way too much about yourself too fast. Your bulletproofed photos should be enough. If your Instagram has a lot of followers and you have very high quality pictures, it may help to boost your ELO score. This is a judgement call, but you can link your IG to your Tinder profile if you feel it fits that criteria. Snapchat on the other hand is a tool to communicate and send pictures. It doesn’t say anything about your personality, so it logically doesn’t make any sense to post your Snap handle in your bio.
- Being negative, dissing Tinder, or saying something rude or insulting. It doesn’t make you look like a badass. If anything it just makes you seem mean, angry, and hostile. Think about it this way. If you didn’t machine gun swipe right for every match and actually read some of the bios that girls have, a common one you’ll see is something along the lines of, “Screw this app, you better make the first move, don’t swipe right if you’re a fuckboy, don’t swipe right if you’re not gonna take me out for a fancy steak dinner, or don’t bother swiping right if you’re under 6 feet.” I understand that women say those things to screen out the high volume of matches, but if you really think about it, regardless of how attractive she is or not, don’t you feel like that person is rude and you’d never want to match or meet them in person?
- Don’t be lazy. Since this is about you, have fun writing out your bio, and use some of the templates for inspiration so you don’t get stuck.
Lastly, just like with photos, I suggest you do a trial run and test out how your bio does by swiping or getting as many of your female friends to read it. Stress-test it first.
Power-Up and Buy Tinder Plus or Gold
Don’t assume that this is a hack that will make everything automatically easier. You’re wasting your money if you didn’t follow any of the previous steps before getting to this point. Make sure you’ve got your photos and bio on point.
Only after you’ve bulletproofed your photos and wrote up a solid bio would I suggest you buy Tinder Plus or Gold. The only difference between the two is that Gold lets you see who has swiped right on you already. But you still get the wonderful features such as:
- Unlimited Likes – Don’t take this as a green light to machine gun swipe right on everything. Remember your ELO score will be drastically affected if you do this. Read through the bios, look at all the pictures, and take your time. Give yourself a cap of a minimum of 10-20 right swipes a day. It pays to be patient and selective.
- The “Passport Feature” – If you’re a frequent traveler or you know you’re going to be in a different part of the country or in another country, this feature comes in handy when you want to start setting up dates ahead of time. It can also give you a feel for what the dating scene is like in the area you’re traveling to.
- Rewind – Say you accidentally swiped right too fast or swiped left by accident. You get one undo to check through her profile again if there was something that caught your eye or that you liked or didn’t like.
- Tinder Boost and Super Like – These are the two best features in my opinion. The best thing about having five super likes instead of one (if you don’t have Plus or Gold) is that it really makes you stand out with a girl you’re really attracted to and the chances of her swiping right and seeing your new and enhanced profile is much higher. Tinder tested the feature in various markets prior to rolling out the feature, and determined that you’re three times more likely to match with a user you’ve super liked, and the conversations last 70% longer. There’s a great way to make the most out of your five super likes. First, swipe right on a profile to see if you match with her. If you did, you just saved a super like. If you didn’t, just hit rewind to undo the like and then super like her.
I wanted to separate this section because this feature has helped me get a lot of matches in a short period of time. If you didn’t use up your super likes, even better!
In a nutshell, Tinder boost is a feature that puts your profile at the top of the deck for 30 minutes. You’re the top profile in the area for that allotted amount of time. Hence, there’s a reason why you only get 1 boost per month if you buy Tinder Plus or Gold and why it’s relatively pricey to buy one boost for $3.99, five boosts for $3.00 each, and 10 boosts for $2.50 each. If you’ve got the cash to burn, go out and buy them on the app.
The best days and times to get more matches is exactly 9:00 PM on a Sunday or on any night that is not Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, since everyone is out and about on those three nights. I’ve bought enough boosts to test this theory, and I’ve wasted a few boosts by trying it out during the afternoon, midnight, and even the morning. The best results and most activity has come at around 9:00 PM.
You can take a look at this short article on the best time to get Tinder matches to see the reasoning behind the 9:00 PM swipe and boost.
Bonus Tip: Reach Out & Message All of Your Matches (It’ll Boost Your ELO Score)
Tinder and a lot of dating app algorithms do a really good job at monitoring your activity and the response rate of all of your matches.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not attracted to any of your matches (use this as an opportunity for honing your conversational skills) or you don’t know what to say to break the ice with your matches. The algorithm will reward you with more matches and higher quality matches based on your activity, length of conversations, and how responsive you are, along with how responsive the girl is. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
Women have to be extra selective on Tinder and other dating apps to avoid the sheer volume of messages they get from their matches on a daily basis. It’s simply decision fatigue if you really think about it.
For example, imagine the end of the day. After you finished work, ran your daily errands, and made a bunch of tiny decisions throughout the day, from what shirt to wear, whether or not you should put Stevia or Splenda in your coffee, or if taking an Uber or biking to work would be faster, by the end of the day you’re already completely out of fucks to give. You’re mentally fatigued from work, and the last thing you want to do is make more decisions.
Think about the most productive and successful people in the world. From former President Barack Obama to Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Remember how they always wore the same attire all the time. President Obama had his nicely fitted and plain navy blue suit, and Steve Jobs always wore his trademark black turtleneck, blue dad jeans, and a pair of New Balance sneakers.
It wasn’t really for the purpose of personal branding or creating a trademark, but that ended up being a byproduct of it. The real reason they did it was because it was one less decision they had to make. Being powerful leaders, they wanted to save their higher mental faculties for better, more efficient, and clearer decision making.
The same concept applies to the sheer volume of matches a girl gets on her profile. Just imagine how overwhelming it is to have thousands of matches and a ton of guys using the same methodologies and tactics to open them.
These tactics range from the crude and ill-advised dick picture, to your generic cheesy pickup line, and last but not least, the bombardments of “Hey!”, “Hi (Insert Name Here)”, “Hello”, “What’s Up?”, “Hey beautiful”, “Guys probably do this all the time but I swear you have the prettiest (insert body part here)…” You get the point. Imagine being bombarded by those boring, needy, generic, and stupid messages on a daily basis, especially if she’s a reckless swiper.
It’s tough and harsh for both men and women. Women are overwhelmed with matches and sheer quantity, unless they hire a paid service to do the conversing for them. Men, on the other hand, also have to jump through a lot of obstacles and hoops to even get a match, let alone sustain a conversation that will elicit enough positive emotions and intrigue her enough to want to meet up for a date.
If you want to start off strong, take a look at her profile, pick something specific about her, and craft an opener specific to her. For example, I matched with a girl named Monica on Tinder. She was a bombshell and my exact type in terms of looks. She had brunette hair, was incredibly fit, and loves dogs as much as I do. Instead of using the typical “Hey, what’s up?”, I skimmed her bio, which didn’t give me much to work with other than her job (personal training) and her love of dogs.
Here’s how the beginning of the conversation went:
Rob: “Don’t get me wrong Monica, I love your squat form and athletic wear fashion sense, it’s totally on point… But your dog Marley though… He just stole my heart!”
Monica: “Hahahahah thank you : ) I put a lot of effort into my form and gym style, I’m jealous Marley always gets all the love. On the other hand, your dog just stole mine…”
It was a simple opener specific to her that was enough to make her laugh, make me stand out enough to get her attention, keep the conversation lighthearted and fun, and build enough trust and rapport. I took it off Tinder after eight consistent exchanges. I moved to getting her phone number and having her follow me on Instagram and Snapchat.
If you struggle with openers and sustaining a conversation you can check out the following links to spice up your Tinder conversations and add more tools to your dating toolbox:
For now, follow these steps and practical tips. I’m aware that this was a very long and detailed post, so take it step by step and remember that it’s going to take a little bit of hard work in the beginning. Just remember that you’re doing yourself a disservice by not putting in the hard work first. It’ll be much easier once you have everything set up and automate the process.
‘Til Next Time,