Tag Archives: money management

Creating Your Own Demand

Rule_34We all know about Rule 34: There is a fetish for everything. Everything has potential to turn someone on. It’s one of the best things about being a sex worker. You get to create your own niche to the extreme. But how exactly do you build demand once you’ve created your niche? The good news is that it is essentially really easy. The bad news is that it is time consuming. But nobody is going to be successful doing nothing, so I’m just going to assume that you’re not lazy and that you want to fucking work. First off, get your ass on social media. You can’t avoid social media anymore when you’re creating your demand. Hashtags are your best friend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But it’s so much more than that!! You have to also network. The sex worker community on Tumblr is one of my absolute favorites. People constantly build each other up, dish out hate on creepers, and reblog advertisements. Just remember that you’re expected to do the same! Use watermarked photos of yourself to advertise your services, whether you’re a pro-Domme, cammer, PSO or escort. Don’t just post the photo though, include your website(s) in the description!

Do a bit of research. Who are the people who have similar interests and where do they hang out? There are forums for just about every kink these days, and forums are a great place to start conversations with potential clients/customers.

Own what you do. Are you a POC into cosplay? Show off your geek knowledge along side your cosplaying photos. You have a personality (even if it’s a made up one), use it to your advantage. By making yourself a relatable individual, people will feel connected to you and more likely to support your services. This can be a problem when you’re a FemDom, as there is a fine balance between being too accessible and not enough. Find that balance! Do something different from everyone else. Nobody likes a copycat. Don’t copy other people!! It’s in poor taste. Standing out from the crowd will make you stand out in peoples’ minds.

Don’t wait for other people. You own you. You control what you do. You cannot expect to sit around and wait for others to make you successful. That’s not how this industry works. Find what you want to do and do it. Don’t wait for companies to hire you. Don’t wait for approval from anyone. Just fucking do it.

Nobody cares about your success more than you, so why on earth are you not doing anything about it? 

Sydney Screams: Fetish Model, Clip Producer, Adult Actress, Radio Talk Show Host

Do The Math

back-to-school-retro-school-classroom-1408441525-view-0If you’re new to escorting or even if you’re not new sometimes its hard to tell what it is you really need to have to make money. As an independent escort it your own business and as with all business it takes money to make money. You can cut down on some of those costs by putting in a little time into figuring out what you really need to spend your money on and what you don’t. Making sure in the process to get value for money. Website: Though you don’t need a website to be an escort, it’s probably a good idea to get one.  Having a website shows some measure of legitimacy. If you are a little web savvy you can put up your own site. If not there are people who can do that for you. What they charge will vary far and wide. What you will get for that money will also vary. You should think carefully about what it is you want and what you are willing to pay to get it. A simple site works just as well as a very complicated site with all the bells and whistles. If you hire a web person to make you a site who does a lot of escort sites, make sure to do what you can to make your site look unique. You don’t want to look like everyone else. Your site should reflect you. Think about it from your client side, he’s weeding though a lot of sites and though a lot of potential escorts. Stand out! Oh and for gods sake if you put up your own site pay for your own hosting and a domain name. Don’t use a free site thats asking for trouble. Many are not adult friendly and you run the risk of waking up one day and your sites been deleted.

Photography: Every escort needs photos. Photos are going to sell you to potential clients more then anything else you do. Think about what image you want to project. Are you sweet and young? Are you dominating and fierce?  Are you quirky and alternative? What ever your assets are you want to project those in your photos.  Don’t just hire the dude who shoots all the hookers. What that is going to get you is your photos will look like all the other hookers photos. Hire someone you’re comfortable with (lots of creepy dudes with cameras out there), that you can trust (especially if you don’t show your face), who will design a shoot that is unique to you. Get references from other women in the business. Really look at someones portfolio. If they have 100 photos of skinny girls in lingerie and you’re fuller figured then that’s not your guy. If all they have to show are photos of white girls and you are a different shade then thats not your guy. If their portfolios are filled with pictures of landscapes and puppies then id think twice about spending your hard earned cash on that guy. Make sure they can do what it is you want and that they aren’t just putting up their lucky shots. Remember its easy to make a model… look like a model. Prices will also vary a lot so shop around.  If an average shoot in your area with a sex worker friendly photographer is 300 bucks and that gets you a set of usable retouched photos, then what should you get for a 1200 shoot? Also remember that as an escort you need to get new photos often, keep that in mind so when you are budgeting for shoots.You will need to do at least one shoot a year and you probably should do two.

Video: This is a thing now and frankly I don’t know why. Oh I know why some “clients” might like them. These are the same guys who can’t pull the trigger unless a girls got 500 reviews. But video isn’t necessary. It’s not a thing you need to have to work, even at the high end. Anyone that tells you that is selling something.  Does everyone need to have a Victoria Secrets style video to promote herself? The short answer is no.

Advertising: This is something you will need to invest in and put in some trail and error. Not all advertising works for all girls. Your BFF might really get a lot of work off a site that you get nothing off of. People in New York might pay for ads on a site that works, while in Detroit that same site will suck for bringing in clients. There is not rhyme or reason to it. The best thing you can do is set yourself a monthly advertising budget and then see what works for you. Try different things one at a time, then measure the success. Make sure you track hits to your website and ask your clients where they saw your ad. Not all of them will remember and some will get it wrong but absent of a customer satisfaction survey its the best you have to measure whats working. Also think of non traditional advertising venues like review boards, screening sites and social media.

Putting a little thought and time into determining what it is you need then adding up what that will cost is the best thing you can do for your business. You don’t need a ton of money but you should be setting some aside for these types of things. Do the math. Lots of people out there are looking to take advantage of you because they think you are rolling in escort dough and if you are new there are people who will tell you you need all the things and you can buy them from them of course. Be smart, be skeptical and don’t get taken advantage of.

Jenny DeMilo: Dominatrix, Hypno-Domme and former GFE Escort

Follow Jenny DeMilo on Twitter

 

How to spend your advertising dollars

PWoman-holding-bag-of-money-via-Shutterstockaying for advertising sucks, but it is necessary. All successful business pay for advertising and sex work is no different from any other business. Spending your money wisely.. now thats the hard part. It’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t and there’s a lot of superstition involved in sex work advertising. Especially because where you are getting your clients from is often hard to know.  As a result people tend to keep ads up that are not working for them just because they always had them or out of fear that if they make a change their work will slow. Remember just because you like or don’t like a  specific site or because they are friendly to sex workers ( they all should be as you are their clients)  is not reason to keep yourself off it or put yourself on a specific website. You are in this business to make money and advertising is a business decision. If the money you invest in ads pays off then it’s a good investment, if its not paying off how you want then you need to find something that works better for you. A lot of trial and error is involved in sex work advertising, a lot. Set yourself a monthly budget and get to putting up and tracking your ads. Keep in mind that spending your hard earned cash wisely is the key.. so here are some tips to help you get more for your advertising dollar.

1. Track your web hits: Do this! Seriously do it now, right now. Tracking your web hits will often give you the best picture of how people are finding you. What keywords / search terms they are using to find your clip site, your escort site, your blog, etc. Where are you getting link referrals.  (Protip: this is also a good way to see who’s sharing your files if you are a clip producer) If you are paying a company big bucks for an ad and no one is clicking over from that site to your site, then you’re not spending your money well. Not at all, not one wee little bit. You must use all the tools available to you and tracking your web hits is A number one.

2. Ask your clients: Be aware that they often don’t know, cant remember or just plain will lie  about it but it never hurts to ask. When I would get a phone calls, I would always ask “Where did you see my ad?” Often they would say some site I wasn’t listed on cuz they can be stupid, but a lot of the time they would tell me where they actually saw my ad and if i was real lucky what they liked about my ad and why they were moved to call. Bonus! Asking where your ad was found is also a good way to track your bullshit callers too. If the time-wasters are always telling you they saw you on site X well then maybe its time to take your ad off that site. Its not doing you any good and in fact its wasting your time. d=Dealing with time wasters all the time contributes to sex worker burn out in a big way.

01USDA wise veteran escort friend of mine told me way back in the day when I was a baby ho how to figure out where to place my ads and it holds true today, maybe even more so. Do a Google search as if you were a client looking for an escort to see. Google: Escorts, Los Angeles or Escorts, Washington DC or escorts and whatever city/state you happen to be working in. Now look at those sites, you should have a presence on most of them. There will be a mix of junk sites, mall sites and review sites. So take a little time and look them over. Someone is always trying to capitalize on what they think is escort cash cow money so there are new sites popping up all the time, many in fact most never last. Make sure a site has been around a while and is established, look over who else is on the site, anyone you know? Anyone you respect? Does it look like a slapped together directory with stolen photos? Weed out the crap and hone it down to the solid options.  If something offers a free ad and in the top 10 search returns and looks reputable then it might be worth sticking an ad up there and see what happens. If there’s a splashy mall site with a solid reputation in the top 10 then maybe its time to see about what they have to offer, if there’s a review site in the mix and you are a reviewed escort that allows reviews maybe its time to step up a little participation. All things to think about. If that review site has an ad section, get a price list. Then do a cost benefit analysis. If i spend X, i expect to make X in return. Then track as best you can those results. If it pays off great take that ad out again. If it doesn’t then cancel that ad. Remember the Internet is ever changing so you want to fine tune your potential ads all the time. A site that seems great may stop working and its time to move on to something else or maybe a site that under performed made some changes and is performing better so you want to give it a second try. This is an ongoing battle one that you will have to adapt too all the time. It will drive you nuts but its worth the effort and your time.

Do all the free advertising you can and by that I mean, If you like to blog then write a blog, If you like to take pictures of what you had for lunch then get an Instagram, if you enjoy reposting sexy photos give Tumblr a try. Of course tweet but remember this is your work persona and keep that in mind when you are tweeting up a storm. Make sure if you use 3rd party sites that you carefully read their TOS and keep it clean if they require that. You don’t want to get kicked off sites just when your marketing was starting to pay off there.

Find out what works for you. Invest your advertising dollars wisely. Then go out there and bring home the bacon.

Work Smarter – The Marketing Edition

Marketing is probably the most time consuming aspect of success in the adult industry. Actually, I should correct that statement to encompass all industries, not just the adult industry. Because there is no one sure fire way to be successful at marketing, it involves a lot of trial and error. Sometimes you’ll find that one venue of marketing works amazingly, but then six months later maybe it’s a completely different venue. This royal pain in the ass also happens to be your best friend in the path towards success. Be careful though, it sometimes feels like an uphill battle. In stilettos. Since marketing is an ongoing trial and error process, your first instinct may be to advertise one month on one website and then the next month switch to another website. This can definitely have its ups, but an ad needs to be seen at least 3 times for the audience to make a decision on the product or service. Assuming someone goes to a website once a week, your ad would have to be guaranteed to show up each time they visit that website for them to remember you. That seems like it would be easy, until you factor in that you are not the only advertiser on a website. Most websites use banners that either change every 5-7 seconds or that change each time you click to a new page within the website. Give your ad on the site a 3 month trial period. If you haven’t gotten at least a 10-20% return on your investment, it is definitely time to look elsewhere.

When you’re paying for advertising, be smart about where you spend your money. A fellow producer friend of mine decided to invest by advertising on a popular fetish based tube site, which seems like a great idea except he advertised on a niche fetish tube site and his site doesn’t cater to that specific niche! Of course he was really disappointed by the results since he didn’t get a return on his investment, but he made the mistake of not investing intelligently! Make educated decisions on where and how you spend your advertising budget (do your research!!) so that you don’t end up making the same mistake.

If instead of paying for advertising, you’re doing your own advertisement, consider where and how you’ll be doing it. Are you sticking primarily to forums and interaction with potential customers to drive traffic your way? Maybe you’re running a blog or twitter? Consider this for a moment: what is your hourly rate for a cam show or session? Are your efforts at marketing bringing you that rate for each hour devoted to the cause? If you’re spending 3 hours a day tweeting, and your hourly session rate is $250, that’s $750 worth of work. Did you make that money up? Did you book a session during those 3 hours directly off twitter? No matter how you are advertising, you need to expect a return on your investment, which means not only did you make back the time and money spent, but your earnings go above and beyond that.

If you are advertising by your own means rather than a third party site, use tools that are readily available such as Google Analytics, keywords/search terms, social media sites, and forums (where you are allowed to market yourself. Check the forums TOS before posting ads!). Remember that time is money, and if you’re spending all of your time posting ads and trying to drive up traffic there needs to be a return. Perhaps you spend 10 minutes writing a blog post, be sure to add keywords to make finding you easier. Or maybe you’re tweeting, spend 30 minutes scheduling your tweets to post at popular tweeting hours. See if people you know are willing to do a banner exchange to help drive traffic to each others’ sites or blogs.

There is a lot that can be done to advertise on the internet, and taking advantage of all the avenues is one of the best thing you can do. Whether you decide to pay for advertising or do it yourself, make sure that you’re smart about it. Don’t present yourself or your brand in a bad light, choose the right venues for advertising, and make sure that your ad or banner catches the eye and is memorable!

Follow Sydney Screams on Twitter @sydneyscreams4u

Sydney Screams: Fetish Model, Clip Producer, Adult Actress, Radio Talk Show Host

Clockwatching For Pros

As sex workers, we charge our clients for our time. Whether we have clients for an hour or charge by the minute, we need to be aware of how much time is passing. At the same time clients understandably are not comfortable or happy with “clockwatchers” who are so focused on the time that they aren’t paying attention to their service. So how do we keep track of time without obsessing over every moment?

1. Playlist

Make a playlist that lasts about as long as you want your session to last. This works well for just about every situation. Have a sensual GFE escorting session? Put together 1 hour and 50 minutes of songs that set a romantic, intimate atmosphere. Doing a gold show striptease? Make an 18 minute playlist of dance music. Basically – shave a couple minutes off your total session/show time for conversation and leeway, set your atmosphere, and when the music stops you know things are wrapping up.

As a bonus you can use your playlist to set the tone and rhythm to your session. You can set the pace as to when things heat up, speed up, and wind down. When you know your music well, you can follow it in your head and know about how much time has past and how much you have left.

2. Safe call

This is good advice for both time and safety. Tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be there. When I worked for an agency – this was automatically built into my appointments. I called when I arrived, which signaled the start of the appointment (as well as told them I was ok and comfortable – or that I wasn’t and was leaving) and five minutes before the end of the appointment I received a call asking if we were extending the session or not. If I didn’t answer or call back within fifteen minutes they would know I was in crisis and call the cops. You can recreate that with a friend or colleague.

3. Alarm

You can also fake a safe call with the use of the alarm clock app on your phone. You can set it to sound like a ringtone, fake answer the phone, and let the client or producer think that someone is looking out for you. It’s not ideal, but it will keep you on track of time, and perhaps give you an extra layer of security.

4. Stopwatch

This really only works for sex work that doesn’t occur in person. But when I am in a private show on cam I have a stopwatch next to the computer so I can easily see how much time is passing. It’s easier than trying to do math by the clock and helps me keep a good rhythm for the show – which can also extend a show by a couple minutes – which increases your income! On the phone it’s super easy because, well, most cell phones tell you how long your call has lasted and all you have to do is check it. Skype does the same thing.

5. Convenient Placement

If you hate all those options and have the option of designing your own incall – put lots of clocks in convenient places that you can check without being obvious. You can make them pretty so it’s not blatant that your room is designed for a session to run like clockwork. You can also use mirrors to reflect the time around the room if you know where to look. And you will know – the clients won’t. Test your room out to see if you can see the time in a variety of locations and positions around the room.

After a while most people develop an internal clock and can mentally keep track of time. For some of us, keeping track of time is a challenge. I rely on gadgets and tricks because my brain doesn’t do it for me. Know your weaknesses and find ways to work around them.

Lauren Kiley: Webcam Girl, Fetish Performer, Fetish Clip Producer, Former Escort, Activist, Dirty Girl Next Door.