When I first moved back to the states from Asia, I thought dating was going to be difficult since I’d be gone for so long, and then I found out how to hack Tinder. Here’s how I did it using the same strategies I use as an entrepreneur.


hus·tle. (the entrepreneur’s definition)

  1. Gaming a system to your advantage.
  2. Using outside the box thinking to solve problems.

#HUSTLE is a column featuring our best stories of hustle & hustlers.


“I was actually texting my girlfriends saying that I was pretty sure he was going to have some sexual problems, because it seemed too good to be true.”

– A, my new girlfriend

I’d just moved back to the United States from living in Asia for over 5 years and it had been a while since I’d dated anyone outside of Asia.

At the time I had built a digital marketing method called the Perceptive & Proactive Strategy, and I decided to apply it to my dating life.

I was on this weird reverse culture shock I’ve written about in the first few weeks back in California.

The first thing I did was start using Tinder.

I was anxious to see what types of women were out there in my new area. As soon as I started using it, I could see the problem.

Tinder is visual fast food.

It’s takes quite a bit of time, scrolling through photos and imagining if you’d date that person, admittedly is pretty fun, especially for a guy.

What was extra interesting was the types of women and photos they posted. I felt like it was going to take me ages to wade through all of the women I thought were attractive, and go through all of the profiles trying to decide if they were a personality match for me.

I spent the first few weeks striking up conversations with attractive women, only to find out sooner rather than later, that the dating culture, is a game with different strategies to play.

A coffee date, a dinner date, text conversation, phone conversation.

No matter what strategy, it’s all time wasted if it’s with the wrong person.

I’m a digital marketer by trade, so I used a method here that I use everyday with clients. I call it the Perceptive & Proactive strategy.

It’s focused around perceptive optimization, automation and templates. I thought, “How can I automate this process and get the highest number of girls I would have a relationship with in my Tinder that swiped right.”

Profile optimization

I’d spoken to women about what guys profiles look like, so I’d have an idea of what competition I was up against, and I seemed to get the same answers every time. They all said that most guys have the same “cliche” or “trying too hard” photos.

Here are the top photos women hate to see on your Tinder:

 1. Bathroom selfie

Bad Tinder Photo

2. Photo with a dog

Bad Tinder Photo

3. Romantic photo with a girl

Bad Tinder Photo

4. Photo with a kid

Bad Tinder Photo

5. Muscle photos

Bad Tinder Photo

I got 5-6 photos of myself together that looked good, were great quality, and didn’t send the wrong message. I ran these photos by a few women for a second opinion and posted those.

Clayton Wood Tinder Photo 3

Clayton Wood Tinder Photo 2

The photos I took of my speaking gigs showed that I’m an out going guy that likes to be in charge. Also to show that I have a career.

I also had photos of my travels, but unfortunately I don’t have those photos anymore.

Bio optimization

The psychology of writing a bio is pretty in-depth. Make sure you’re genuine and open and straightforward about what you want. If you need help with that, visit my friends at the TinderAdvisor.com

(PS. I kept my bio short. My last sentence was “I’ve been in the Bay Area tech & magazine publishing industry for 10 years.”)

clayton-wood-tinder-profile-001

Automating the swipe

I needed a hack to not waste time liking people.

To save time reading everyone’s profile, I needed a solution that would like everyone that appeared on my screen. I needed to get a big list of women that liked me that I could choose from instead of spending time reading about someone who may never swipe right on me.

I refused to spend any time on someone without knowing if they would date me.

Tinder limits the amount of likes you can use with the freemium model, so I forked over the money and bought the premium subscription. It was worth it to get a list of interested women on my phone.

Then I found the automatic liking hack. A friend of mine posted on his Facebook page he was using the web app called Flamelite.

Flamlite Tinder Hack

This app automatically likes everyone that comes up on your Tinder. After that, I went on about my days and checked every few days. The list of interested women just built and built.

I targeted Los Angeles mainly, even though I was in San Francisco, because it seems like more women in LA were my style.

Using high converting templates

I knew out of the number of likes I got on Tinder, there were still only a small number that I’d really get along well with.

So, using the Perceptive & Proactive strategy, I wrote a few message templates that would help me filter and strike up a conversation. The response I got would quickly tell me if I was interested in the person further.

Here’s a few of how the templates worked:

Template 1

Tinder Hack Message Template

Template 2

Tinder Message Template

From this I was able to perceive and launch a few meaningful conversations with people I wanted to go out with.

What’s great about the hack process I built was that it worked so well, I actually matched with one of the most beautiful women around. She’s a well known producer and works in media.

As soon as we matched, I knew I wanted to date her. I read through her profile and was impressed by everything. It was beauty and brains all in one.

We started talking via text, and I converted her to a phone conversation as quickly as I could. I wanted to find out if there was an opportunity to explore something further.

As it turns out, there was.

Hacking the first date with my “Perceptive & Proactive” strategy

Playboy.com covered our first date story if you want to read about it, but here’s the scoop.

Since we were in two different cities, I wasn’t sure exactly how we’d meet under normal scenarios. Me going all the way to Los Angeles for a date seemed weird.

We developed a pretty awesome connection over the period of a month, thanks to us both being perceptive. We’d talked, and most importantly, listened about everything we were passionate about, traveling, media and marketing.

It just so happened that I’d had a trip to Israel coming up to do a keynote speech at the country’s largest annual start up tech conference.

I told her about it, and asked if she’d ever do anything that crazy. She said she’d think about it. Then we talked about what we’d do if it didn’t work out. She was ready to be on the next flight back home if something was off.

We ended up going, having a great time, and falling in love. When Playboy reached out to feature us, it was a lot of fun doing the story.

She was even quoted saying, when we met in the airport, “I was sitting there in my black dress waiting for some guy to appear, and I already knew he was super charming, and I was like ‘Oh, god, he looks amazing—there has to be something wrong with him, something weird,’”

That’s how I hacked Tinder and found an awesome girlfriend by being perceptive & proactive. For lots of other hacks, relationship insights and interesting things, you can go to ClaytonWood.org or Follow me on Periscope & Twitter @claytonwwood