Whether you’re brand new to meeting women online, or you’ve been at it for years, chances are you want better results. Every day, I hear from dozens of men who are failing miserably to meet the women they want with dating sites and apps. You’re not alone.

Online dating is so frustrating and time-consuming that thousands have hired me and my team of experts at Virtual Dating Assistants to literally do it for them. We take them from zero to hero, overnight. Rinse and repeat. Today, I’m going to teach you how to do that for yourself, in five simple steps.

From picking the right sites to filling your calendar with dates, you’ll get a step-by-step game plan for meeting attractive women online.

When taking pictures with friends, be the center of attention. Stand in the middle of the group and touch someone else on their upper arm. Studies show those two things elevate your perceived status and importance.

Step 1: Fish in all the Right Ponds
First, I’ll break down the pros and cons of our top five recommended dating sites and apps. But you can also find what types of women are on them here. Then, I’ll tell you exactly which ones are best for you. Here’s your executive overview:

Match ($20-$26/month):
Has the most users of any paid dating site, but you can’t access basic features like viewing or sending messages without upgrading.

OkCupid (Free with optional “A-List” upgrade for $10-$20/month):
Attracts younger, more attractive women, but there is a higher percentage of fake profiles.

Plenty of Fish (Free with optional “Serious Member” upgrade for $7-$13/month):
One of the most popular free dating sites with a huge user base, but it seems to attract a higher number of less attractive and less educated women.

Tinder (Free with optional upgrades like $3/month for unlimited swipes):
It’s the most popular dating app in the US, but men outnumber women 3:1.

Bumble (Free):
It tends to attract beautiful, intelligent and successful women, and the male-to-female ratio is about equal, but women must initiate conversation.

Step 2: Showcase Your Strongest Photos
There’s no getting around it. Your photos can make or break your chances with the girls you want to meet. That’s why you should always consider these two major elements of your photos when deciding which to use on your profile:

1. How attractive do you appear in the picture? (By “you,” I mean your face and other visible body parts.)
2. What does the photo indirectly communicate about you and what it’s like to be around you?

While it’s crucial to look as attractive as possible in all of your photos, what you’re communicating in between the pixels is almost just as important. Online dating photos tell a story. Think of your photos like a marketing campaign. If they aren’t showing you in the best possible light, they don’t make the cut. Here are my top five photo Dos and Don’ts:

Do:
-Use a decent camera whenever possible. OkCupid’s research found the better the camera, the better you look.
-Take pictures outdoors during the “Golden Hour” —those 60 minutes right before the sun sets or after it rises. This window of time produces just the right amount of natural lighting with no flash, squinting or sunglasses required.
-Stand in a “power posture.” Researchers found that taking up as much space as possible in the photo frame conveys dominance, which women find attractive. So stretch out those arms and legs!
-When taking pictures with friends, be the center of attention. Stand in the middle of the group and touch someone else on their upper arm. Studies show those two things elevate your perceived status and importance.
-Take photos of your everyday activities—statistics show the majority of singles want to see more casual photos depicting your everyday activities. But keep a sharp eye on what’s in the background. If she can imagine herself in the frame having a good time with you, you’re doing it right.

Camera Quality

Don’t:
-Use flash when you can avoid it. OkCupid found that flash adds 7 years to your perceived age online.
-Forget to include a full body shot. Showing your full frame will increase the number of responses you get by 203 percent.
-Use pro photos that look posed. Trying too hard to impress her isn’t hot—and nothing screams, “I hired a pro photographer” louder than a headshot with a boring studio background.
-Smile in every single picture. OkCupid’s extensive data shows women respond more favorably to photos of men looking away from the camera and not smiling.
-Use too many photos. Remember—you’re only as attractive as your worst photo. Don’t keep adding photos until you run out of real estate. Only use your very best three to six photos.

Once you’ve got a selection of contenders, ask your female friends to rank them from favorite to least favorite, and use the ones that “win” this voting process. Or use a website like Photofeeler.com or HotorNot.com to gather feedback.

flash

Step 3: Write a Profile She Can’t Resist
Your dating profile has two main goals:
1. Grab her attention.
2. Make her want to know more about you.

Chances are she’ll check out your bio before returning your message, and if she’s on the fence about your photos, an intriguing profile that captures her imagination might win her over. To get you started in the right direction, here are a few profile writing Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind while unleashing your inner Shakespeare:

Do:
-Use vivid stories that illustrate your best qualities—show, don’t tell!
-Describe yourself and your lifestyle in unique ways. Don’t just say “I love to travel.” Describe specifics of your favorite adventures.
-Create a congruent identity. Research shows that inconsistencies between the story that your photos tell and the bio you wrote can really work against you.
-Use a call to action—a marketing strategy where you tell the reader what action to take next. At the end of your profile, you’ll encourage her to send you a message.

Don’t:
-Take the lazy way out and just write a list of adjectives like “ambitious, adventurous and funny.” Give her examples of a time you were adventurous or ambitious, and actually be funny.
-Use poor grammar or punctuation.
-Be negative.
-Strive for perfection. Women are looking for someone genuine, not someone perfect.

To repurpose a famous Winston Churchill quote (he definitely would be cool with it), your dating profile should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to arouse interest, but not so short you bare all and kill the mystery of what’s to come.

Also, don’t make it all about you. Adhere to the 70:30 ratio: 70 percent of your profile should describe you, 30 percent should describe what you’re looking for in a woman.

Much like your photos, your bio should highlight the qualities women find most attractive in a man like confidence, adventurousness, successfulness, intelligence and a good sense of humor. Just remember—show, don’t tell. She doesn’t want to get buried in an adjective avalanche, so tell her how you embody a specific trait, don’t just tell her you’re “adventurous” or “ambitious.”

Follow this simple formula, and you’ll have her hanging on every word:

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On Tinder, the bio is 500 characters or less. For Bumble it’s even shorter—300 characters or less. And remember, on Bumble she has to initiate contact. Make it easy for her to engage with you by asking her a simple question in your profile, something like this:

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You can ask her a “challenge question” that sparks a conversation, or simply instruct her to send you a message:

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Now that you’ve got a killer profile, it’s time to start drawing some attention to it. Here comes the fun part…

Step 4: The Right Words at the Right Time
Heck, for the average guy, the odds of getting a response to a message are depressingly low.

But don’t worry, there’s a way to beat those odds, and it’s right there at your fingertips: CTRL-C and CTRL-V. Otherwise known as copy and paste, template messages are by far the most efficient use of your valuable time.

Why spend 15 minutes carefully examining each woman’s profile, taking notes on what she likes, and then painstakingly writing a customized message, when you could fire off equally effective copied messages to 15 different women in that same amount of time?

Before you go hog wild, keep two things in mind. First, there’s a huge difference between the hogwash that most men copy and paste online and what you need to be sending. Second, the dating sites (Match, OkCupid, POF) and dating apps (Tinder, Bumble) require a completely different approach from one another. What gets you responses on Tinder could easily offend some women on Match.com. Here are a few general Dos and Dont’s for messaging women on dating sites and apps:

Do:
-Make her feel something with your message. Humor works wonders, but it has to actually be funny! Connecting with her on interests of hers like travel, food or skiing will also work great.
-Keep it classy. Super sleazy-sounding pickup lines won’t get you far, even on Tinder.
-Take it easy with the emoticons. While a recent Match.com study found that singles who use emojis get more dates and have more sex, you don’t want to overdo it. After all, she isn’t looking to date a goofy 15-year-old who just got his first cell phone.
-Always end with a question. This makes it easy for her to respond, and gives her a reason to answer you!
-Get the timing right. Once you’ve got a conversation going, it’s on you to move it along. The pace on dating sites is slower than on dating apps. On a site like Match.com, it’s not unusual for her to go a day or two before replying, and it’s okay for you to do the same. But on mobile dating apps, momentum is key. If possible, you want to get into a real-time message exchange and get her number as quickly as possible.

Don’t:
-Bore her to tears with messages she’s already seen a bajillion times like “Hey” and “What’s up!”
-Be overly complimentary. If she’s smoking hot, she already knows it. Men constantly remind her with their eyes and lame remarks. She doesn’t need to hear it from you too.
-Return her message immediately. You don’t want to give her the impression you’ve got nothing else going on in your life.
-Freak out because she doesn’t respond fast enough and send her another message. This looks really needy and desperate. Give her more than enough time to respond before sending another message, but only send one—you don’t want to look like you’re desperate and there’s plenty of other attractive women out there.
-Write her a novel if she only replied with a few words. Mirroring her response length and general writing style will make her feel more comfortable. It will also keep you from looking like you’re trying too hard.

If you want to start off with a confidence boost on online dating sites, start by sending messages to all of your profile visitors—they are 78 percent more likely to respond. Because they’ve all viewed your profile, you can send them all the exact same message teasing them about stopping by without saying hi.

Another way to copy and paste a message that seems personalized even though it’s not is to use the Advanced Search function that’s built into these sites. You just put in all your regular search criteria and add a keyword like travel, cooking, yoga or fashion. If it’s travel you put into the keyword field, you’ll only be looking at women who enjoy traveling. Then you can copy and paste a message like this to the most attractive active users you see:

POF - Travel message.jpg

Beyond the keywords, you can also do this for women who have certain types of photos, like one featuring a furry, four-legged friend. If you even just develop these types of messages as you go and store them in a safe place, you’ll soon have a message for every occasion.

It’s nice to have some “one size fits all” icebreakers to fall back on for women you find attractive, but who don’t have any interesting keywords or photos for you to play off of:

More 3D than her images.png

Your messages should be vague enough that they can apply to any woman, but still have a somewhat personalized and genuine feel.

Messages on dating apps, on the other hand, should be short and sweet. Remember, she’s scanning them on her phone, so you want to catch her attention in as few words as possible. Here are some opening lines that work really well.

Step 5: Ask Her Out Correctly
There’s a right and a wrong way to ask her out, and if you get it wrong you might lose her. Here are some Dos and Don’ts to make sure she says “yes.”

Do:
-Strike while the iron is hot. Long(ish) replies, LOLS, emoticons and her asking questions about you to get to know more are all strong hints that she’s ready to get together.
-Lead with a statement that will get her nodding her head up and down in agreement. For example, tell her you’ve realized one thing our grandparents were right about: The best way to get to know someone is talking in person. It’s hard to disagree with that, right? You’re now one small yes closer to the date.
-Be careful about using the word “date” if you’re messaging someone in her lower 20s on an app like Tinder. You don’t want to conjure up fears of long-time commitments and emotional investments if she’s not looking for something serious. Opt for “meet up”—there’s no pressure on her to just grab a quick cup of coffee with you. Use the word “date” if you’re messaging an older woman who wants to move toward a serious relationship.

Don’t:
-Only suggest meeting for drinks. We analyzed hundreds of conversations that led to dates for our clients, and our data shows the acceptance rate doubles when she’s given a choice of activities, and gets cut in half when you only suggest one option.

Here is an example of how to suggest meeting up in person:

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So there you have it—everything you need to know to get dates like clockwork in five easy-to-follow steps. The only quicker and easier method for meeting women online is to hire someone to do it for you, but you’re now armed with all the tips and tricks you need to become a modern dating master!

Good luck, and be sure to leave your questions, successes and aha moments in the comments below!