Three Billboards: One Profile

Do you ever feel like Frances McDormand’s character in the cult Oscar-nominated movie Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.   You’ve got something to say, but no one’s paying attention.  Like a billboard in a sleepy town or even worse a desert.

You’ve created your profile on the top online dating sites, but the only people swiping right are the losers that have bulk-swiped in order to hit every female in their search bracket.  You want to turn this around and fast, before you lose the will to live.

Having run offline dating events for a number of years, and met so many lovely, real people; the biggest thing I notice when I look at online dating photos is the inconsistency.  If I see three or four photos and each one looks like a different person, I think – will the real ‘X’ please stand up!

Some helpful tips

Don’t use shopping lists:- we shouldn’t shop for a potential partner in the same way we shop for a new camera or computer.

  1. Compact and travels well
  2. Selfie-stick optional
  3. Dresses in a range of colours
  4. Photographs well in good lighting
  5. Instagram filter Juno is favourite.

We all love a list, but save it for the day job, and think of your profile as a piece of targeted content to sell yourself in. The short elevator pitch billboard that would make you think – I know that person, or more to the point, I want to know that person.

Choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable and a location that makes you feel happy.   My friend Laura Gub photographed me in a bar with a glass of wine.  Not too out of my comfort zone there!

During the photoshoot, make sure you look at the digital photos and understand what you look like.  If you are not making enough effort to show the real you, now’s the time to do it.  Create fantastic thoughts in your head and have a great time. You’re worth it.

And if you’re still not happy with the final cut, there’s nothing wrong with softening the picture with a filter, as long as it still looks like you.

People love to see happy smiling versions of you.   A photograph with a couple of friends and with you in centre is ideal; being surrounded by our loved ones makes us feel happy and secure and it shows.

And the words

In your profile, don’t dwell on the negatives, however large they loom in your life. ‘Happily divorced’ reads better than ‘Just got rid of vile ex’. for example.  Make the quirky bits part of your overall charm. Those of us who don’t look or live like movie stars often have the most interesting hobbies, the funniest stories, and the best sets of skills. I like to read profiles that mix approachably ordinary (cinema, restaurants, children happy in school or university.) and with the interestingly different – ‘Climbed Kilimanjaro;- wrote a book;- started a new business- you get the picture.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Own your differences, know your dreams, and open yourself up to the unexpected.  If you create a profile with a story you’d want to hear, who knows who may be out there who wants to listen?


This article was first published on 8th Feb 2018 by

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Barbara Brudenell-Bruce

Barbara is a classic entrepreneur; her career has been defined by a series of iconic start-ups within telecoms, entertainment and fashion. She leads Investor Relations for a London-based consultancy raising capital for entrepreneurs. Alongside financial matchmaking she represents exclusive offline matchmaking agency Vida in London & Monaco, connecting their UHNW clients. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together, with a flair of hosting exquisite events, makes her a social anchor for all that know her.

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