GEMMA Wilks, 37, a dating profile expert, lives in Nottingham with partner Jamie, 37, an IT consultant.
“As I read the message from my client Anthony*, my eyes filled with tears. ‘Sarah* and I are getting married,’ it read. ‘And it’s all down to you.’
‘In July, I set up a website for my business, which I decided to call We Just Clicked’
‘In January 2016, I spotted Jamie on the app – he was attractive and dressed smartly’
As a Tinder profile expert, I see myself as a modern matchmaker, and the day Anthony got in touch to say he was engaged after I gave him a profile makeover was one of my proudest moments.
I was single and working as a digital designer at the University of Nottingham in 2014 when I first tried Tinder myself.
I swiped past numerous blurry gym selfies, or worse, men topless in front of a mirror with a toilet in the background.
Even weirder were the guys whose first picture was their motorbike or dog. Over the next couple of years, I had a handful of dates from Tinder, but none with any major chemistry.
In January 2016, I spotted Jamie on the app – he was attractive and dressed smartly. He stood out because he had lovely pictures that looked like they’d been taken by a professional.
After chatting, we realised we both worked at the same university. The following week, we went for a coffee on campus and got on really well.
By summer, we were officially a couple.
I’ve always been a believer in romance, and in 2006 I introduced my friends Claire and Simon. They’re now married with kids, so I like to think I’m pretty good at matchmaking.
So when my single friends told me stories about the men they met on apps looking at least a decade older than they did in their profile pictures, it sparked an idea.
Jamie’s professional-looking profile pictures had been a breath of fresh air and I’d always loved photography, so I decided to offer profile makeovers, from pictures to captions. In July, I set up a website for my business, which I decided to call We Just Clicked.
I charged £195 for a complete profile rewrite and between £185 and £745 for a photo shoot of candid outdoor profile pics. I’d ask clients to bring outfit changes and props to show off a hobby.
For a profile rewrite, I’d ask them what they enjoyed doing, as well as their morals and values, then weave this into their Tinder bio, with correct spelling and grammar, which is really important.
I did my first photo shoot booking that October. The man was really nervous and told me he wasn’t getting any matches and that it was knocking his confidence.
As we spoke, we agreed to treat taking his pictures like applying for a job – in order to get an interview, your CV has to make a great first impression.
I took a series of pictures of him in a market, against vibrant backdrops, and by the end he’d really relaxed. He was so pleased with them, he was spurred on to give online dating another crack.
‘They never believed they could look so good’
My business gained momentum – 95% of my clients are men, mainly because I think women are more open to asking friends for help. I’m often asked if I will Photoshop the pictures, and although I’ll do light retouches, I don’t do major alterations, as a dating profile should be a true reflection of the person.
Most of the men have lost confidence, and sometimes they’ll even cry happy tears when I show them their photos, telling me that they never believed they could look so good.
For years, I fitted my business around my full-time job, but by 2020 I was getting up to 10 shoot requests a month.
When there was a restructure at work that July, I took redundancy and went full-time with We Just Clicked. Since then, it’s really grown. My earnings vary depending on the season, as I’m much busier in summer, but they average out at £2,000 a month, doing around 15 photo shoots per month in the summer.
I recently ran a singles’ night in Nottingham too, and I’d like to expand them nationwide.
I love receiving feedback from clients to say they are getting loads more profile views and multiple dates. I’m making a difference to people’s lives, which feels really good.
I know from experience that online dating can be brutal, but when it comes to apps, it’s not about perfection – it’s about making the very best of what you already have.”
‘Jamie’s professional-looking profile pictures had been a breath of fresh air and I’d always loved photography, so I decided to offer profile makeovers’
‘For years, I fitted my business around my full-time job, but by 2020 I was getting up to 10 shoot requests a month’
‘I recently ran a singles’ night in Nottingham too, and I’d like to expand them nationwide’
‘I’m making a difference to people’s lives, which feels really good’
Names have been changed. Photography: Gemma Wilks/SWNS Visit Wejustclicked.uk and follow @Wejustclicked.uk on Instagram.
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