As someone who has been an online dating coach since 2003, I’d venture to guess that I’ve not only seen more usernames than just about anyone on the planet, but I’ve written more of them as well.

Why do I think that usernames make a difference, when everyone knows that it’s all about the profile and photo?

Because when you’re dating online, which is an extremely competitive medium, you need every advantage you can get.

A great username is a differentiator – a unique brand name – something that completely sets you apart from every other person on a dating site. And when your ideal partner is scrolling through hundreds of names – Sally102, JenNYC1, LawyerGal – a great username can be the very reason that someone contacts you.

Most people take one of two wrong tacks when coming up with an online dating username:

1) Putting ZERO thought into it: Bill10247, ClaireT, AllyCat

2) Putting minimal thought into it, using a literal description: TallDoctor, GorgeousGoddess, Fun2BeAround

The problem with these efforts, of course, is not that they’re “bad”, but rather that they’re BORING. There’s nothing unique, memorable or distinguishing. There’s nothing that evokes a smile. And so the names fall flat. And you become convinced that usernames don’t matter.

They do if you are clever about it.

In my opinion, a username should be a pun or a play on words. Something familiar-sounding, with a twist.

WineNot – for the wine aficionado
LadyGoGo – for the world traveler
BachToBach – for the classical music enthusiast
TenderLegal – for the soft-hearted lawyer

See the common thread? All of them are plays off of real names, idioms or catchphrases, which is why they evoke smiles from readers.

One of my favorite usernames was TheGooseWhisperer, written for a client named Bobbi in 2005. Bobbi had a farm with geese in the yard and instead of using TheHorseWhisperer, which was way too overdone, we changed one word to great effect. Dozens of people commented on it.

One of them turned out to be her future husband.

So if you’re wondering how to come up with a clever name that gets attention, and attracts a like-minded person with a great sense of humor, I have an exercise that can help you come up with usernames just like the ones I mention above.

It’s in Volume 2 of my Finding the One Online audio series, and is the cherry on top of your new online dating experience. In Finding the One Online, I give you 7 hours of audio, a 180 page transcript, a 35 page workbook – and tips on everything from choosing the right site, to writing a compelling online dating profile, to taking the right photos, to flirting effectively via email so that every single person will want to meet you in person.

Click here to learn more.

What’s the most memorable username you’ve ever seen on a dating site? I’m quite sure our readers are not going to copy them for their own personal usage. Right, readers?