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Deborah Sloan’s It’s a Date! helps single and searching clients tackle online dating profiles gone bad. 

In the past, the flirtatiously timid had few options to ease themselves into the singles’ scene. They could meet with professional matchmakers, join social clubs, or pray that a member of their inner circle had the scoop on other eligible prospects. Then, the Internet came along, and with it the advent of dating websites, which opened doors for just about anyone to cross paths with Cupid. And when Deborah Sloan found herself among the 40 million Americans over the age of 40 who’d taken to the web to search for romance following a divorce, she experienced firsthand the poor netiquette that often plagues the World Wide Web.

“There were men who were trite. Men who’d email me the equivalent of a form letter, which they’d clearly sent to other women, and then, forgetting they’d already sent it to me, send it again,” says Sloan, who’s now happily in a relationship, with a chuckle. “There were photos with bad angles and strange glares. But mostly,” she notes, “I saw profiles that just fell flat.”

Those bad profiles, along with her background in publishing, spawned the idea for It’s A Date!, a service aimed at helping adult singles prepare better online dating profiles. Unlike a dating coach, the goal of It’s A Date! is to identify where a client’s profile has gone wrong—or why they’re not meeting the right people—and fix it accordingly.

“The thing is, people are often great when it comes to talking about themselves. When it comes to writing about ourselves, though, that can be tough,” Sloan says. That’s why she’s got a team of six professionally trained writers and editors to assist her, along with a proprietary questionnaire and objective eye at getting her clients on the right path to love. It’s A Date! works specifically with adults over the age of 40 who might find the return to the dating process daunting after years of marriage, or who’ve never tried online dating before. Once a client identifies what he or she wants in a mate, Sloan’s team gets to work by interviewing the client (via Skype, to assess body language) and piecing together the bits that help paint a better picture of each individual. Though the business just launched earlier this year, It’s A Date! has been busy and has already seen results in the form of many happy clients—not just in Andover, but all over the United States.

In the end, Sloan says, having a great online dating profile boils down to the ability to tell a great story. And with the help of It’s A Date!, you can be sure it includes a happily ever after.

Deborah Sloan’s five tips for a winning dating profile

1. When it comes to memoirs, save it for a book—keep your personal details interesting but to the point. Let prospects learn more about you on a date! 2. Avoid cliche statements like “I love long walks on the beach.” Offer conversation starters instead: “You’ll find me at Plum Island on a sunny day.” 3. Pose a few rhetorical questions in your profile so that prospects will have answers of their own to share when they initially contact you. 4. Try to not start sentences with “I.” Mix (and spice) it up! 5. Above all else: spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck.