I have never ‘swiped’ someone’s profile picture as online dating didn’t exist when I met my wife.

The whole concept of swiping left or right is quite alien to me. I was curious though so asked a friend to show me how this ‘swipe left’ and ‘swipe right’ business works. It quickly became obvious that this approach to finding a date is focused very strongly on looks and first impressions. As indeed are most ‘dates’

The same friend who showed me her dating app was also bemoaning the challenge of finding suitable guys to date online. The lady in question (we’ll call her ‘Rita’) is looking for guys 45-65, but is routinely put off by their photos and their profiles. It seems that few have thought about how to create the best first impression. And this is the lesson I want to share today.

It’s been a while since I blogged about how ‘You never get a second chance to create a first impression’.   Now it is perfectly possible that the guys who approach ‘Rita’ are just as choosy as she is. Perhaps they want someone who will accept them, warts and all. For them maybe it’s best that they haven’t tailored their dating profiles. Perhaps they hope that there are women who look to date guys who think it makes sense to use a photo that shows them half drunk, with a pint of beer in their hand wearing a football t-shirt that is too small for them.

But I bet it would be easier for such guys to find their ideal woman if they posted more attractive photos and less self-centred profiles.

What first impression do prospective clients get from the way your firm and you are described on your website, on your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else you can be found on line? Does that first impression even reveal who YOU are or does it just reference the firm?

Did your best clients appoint your firm or YOU as their accountant? Unless your firm evidently has brand presence that attracts the right sort of clients, it’s not enough to talk about the firm. You need to reveal who is behind it. Who is the accountant seeking out new clients? Who are you?

And when you talk about yourself, does your profile describe you as the perfect date or as the ideal accountant? By all means include some evidence of your personality and outside interests. But remember your profile’s job is to evidence you as an experienced, able and approachable accountant. You want to think ab out what qualities will appeal to your ideal target clients.

One way to do this is to set out the adjectives and description of you that you would like to stress in your online profiles, website and photos. Now ask someone else to review your preferred photo and profiles. What adjectives and description come to mind? If there is a disconnect you had better make some changes.

You might try the same exercise if you are looking for love on dating sites too ;-)