When Alyssa Dineen, a Brooklyn mom of two, was facing a divorce after being with her husband for more than 20 years, she had no idea how to online date. Now, she shows everyone else how to do it.
Two months ago, she started her own company, StyleMyProfileNYC, which helps hopeless — and unstylish — men and women up their online dating game.
“It’s my company and I’m doing the styling. I pick outfits for profile pics, sometimes take the pics, and help people write their bios,” Dineen, a 20-year stylist and art director tells Personal Space.
Dineen says she was paralyzed after splitting from her husband, and with no one left to be set up with through friends, she was forced online to find love again. She did, and has now been with her current boyfriend for a year and a half, after meeting on Tinder.
But to get there, she dated a ton of people, from 25 to 55 years old, “met a bunch of people, had fun,” but was shocked with how poorly people represented themselves. When a friend suggested she go back online and ask people if they needed help, her company was born.
“I thought a lot of people kind of needed some handholding,” Dineen laughs. “There were tons of bad selfies, men not caring what they were wearing in pictures, but you could tell they had potential and they were good catches. I found that men specifically weren’t running anything by friends or anyone else. Their selfies were shirtless in poorly lit bathrooms, but they could be a normal person.”
Many just needed someone to help them “tone it down,” she adds, saying her work is super gratifying when people come back to her to tell her they are now getting some dates.
“It has a lot to do with pics, they don’t have to necessarily be the most striking, it’s the way you present it. Don’t show yourself on a sailboat if you’ve been on one once in your life…No way there are guys in Brooklyn who are constantly sailing. If you love cooking, have a friend take a pic showing ‘here I am cooking in my kitchen,’ or if you’re into reading, show a stack of books at home,” Dineen says. “I found I’m good at choosing a good picture, I art direct shoots and know what looks good. It’s sort of like dating coach meets image consultant.”
She’ll even punch up your bio, so your accomplishments don’t sound like bragging, and you sound natural instead of forced. A lot of her coaching is also instructing people what not to put online.
“I’ll ask prompts and questions to get you thinking. How would your friends describe you? In five words describe yourself. You can say things in a way that don’t sound braggy. I hold people’s hands through it. Many of them are newly separated and tell me ‘I don’t know how to get online,’ it’s interesting how many people who have been married are thrown into the online dating world, whether they like it or not, it’s what you do.”
Right now her company is gaining clients through word of mouth, with people who find her telling her there’s a real need for an online dating stylist — and many have proven it works. Dineen designed different packages (ranging from $500 to $3,000) to help the dating shy show their best selves on their profiles. If you need the whole shebang, she’ll determine what you need, shop for you, style you, take photos, write your bio, and even give you a pre-date prep talk before you head out the door.
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