Shirtless selfies in the bathroom. Profile pictures with dead animals. An overly self-deprecating biography.
These are just a handful of the common mistakes dating website users make, according to St. Louis native Nanci Neuman Kavich, who is promoting a new kind of service aimed at helping those struggling to find love on the Internet. She'll be your online dating adviser! A kind of modern-age Cupid, Kavich may not be able to directly connect you to your soulmate, but she can increase the odds.
"It's like a personal marketing company," Kavich tells Daily RFT of her new venture Profile Wingman. "There's templates for writing resumes, but there's not one for dating profiles."
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Kavich, 44, who is from Chesterfield and went to Parkway Central High School, launched ProfileWingman.com in February with her cofounder Marcia Kapustin, and she is now promoting the business in hopes of finding more clients across the country.
She and Kapustin got the idea when they were helping a close friend make his Match.com profile.
"He couldn't...articulate himself in a way that's attractive," she says.
"He's a really intelligent guy," she adds, but notes that he was having trouble making the pitch online via his profile.
"As we were helping him, it just kind of occurred to us that there's a lot of people that need our help," she says.
They did some research and found that there wasn't really any good service out there dedicated to singles looking for online dating guidance -- despite the fact that sites like Match.com are so popular.
"We thought we could do this," she says, later adding, "the dating industry is just so huge."
Soon, ProfileWingman.com was born.
She and Kapustin, who are based in Omaha, Nebraska, offer a range of package deals.
For $55, they'll give you a "profile makeover":
You've already written your essays, posted your pics, chosen a name, but it just doesn't seem to be working for you. Let us take a look. We'll edit, adjust, rewrite if needed. Basically turn it around to help you present your best self.
For $95, they'll give you a "complete profile build out":
From start to finish! First, we will help you create a catchy username, write the essays and assist with photo selection. This is done through a questionnaire, a getting to know you phone call and/or Skype session, and some old fashion honesty. We know all of the right questions and we're not afraid to ask!
And if you want some serious, ongoing guidance and have $295 to spare, you can get their "wingman concierge service":
This is the Rolls Royce of Services - from start to happy finish, you've got us for four weeks! Full profile build customized to the dating site of your choice including headline options, exceptionally written essay, and photo selection advice.
Three contact suggestions and emails per week - this means we will look around the site and recommend three people each week who we think would be well suited for you. We will then help to compose an initial email to each of these potentials.
Three email responses per week - this means you will select three people who contacted you that you find most intriguing and we will help to write your brilliant and witty reply.
First date consultation - one per week. Each week, when you choose to jump offline and into the real world of dating, we'll help with that too. From conversation starters, where to go/what to do suggestion, even first date wardrobe ideas - we're there for you!
They also offer a $25 phone/Skype consultation as well as free photo assistance.
"We want to make sure that their profile accurately represents them and who they are," she explains.
Continue for more of our interview and for a video from Profile Wingman.
Many find it difficult to create a winning profile, she says, noting that she has personal experience navigating the online dating world.
"Mostly, people don't know how to self promote," she says.
They often come off as arrogant or, when trying to be modest, sound pathetic, she says.
"You'll see a lot of profiles that say, 'I'm not good at this. This is my first time,'" she says.
Profile Wingman works to help users build profiles that align with their aims, she notes. "That's the biggest thing that we tell people: You need to establish your goal."
If someone is looking to get married, then they'll help build a profile that reflects that objective, she says.
Other advice is pretty simple, she says.
"There's a ton of guys with animals that they just killed. Unless you're looking for a hunting partner, it's not a good idea," she says. "That's just gross."
Profile Wingman promotional video.
Kavich, who has a degree in communications, hopes that Profile Wingman will grow and potentially be her full-time gig. Right now, she runs a stationery and invitation business, and Kapustin works in the music industry.
The two can help men and women on all of the many online dating websites that now exist, she says.
However, she notes, "We don't do sex sites. You don't need help with that."