Exec Seat: Q&A With Shirley Lara of Chaturbate
Shirley Lara is one of the most recognizable faces in the online adult space. Lara’s the chief operating officer of Chaturbate, the technology-progressive camsite operation that continually looks for new ways to find and retain customers.
Lara is a long-timer compared to the most in the biz. She started selling content in 2003, which lead to other work in the biz — from content development, traffic, websites and working with models.
XBIZ World recently met up with Lara to find out more about Chaturbate and what’s new in her life.
XBIZ: What are some of the things that make Chaturbate stand out in the live cams biz?
LARA: Our apps and bots. We are the only live cam site to offer these. Chaturbate apps and bots are 100 percent open-source modules that power chat rooms. Apps can control chat and the panels above and below the cam, while bots can control only chat. You can have multiple bots running at once along with your chosen app. We have over 500-plus to chose from. (See https://chaturbate.com/apps/ and https://chaturbate.com/bots/)
XBIZ: What are some of the key challenges facing live cam companies these days?
LARA: The first thing that comes to mind is staying ahead of the curve. It’s hard to attract new broadcasters but it’s another to make them stay. The same thing goes for live cam site users. We focus on offering unique features that benefit the performer and enhance user experience. It’s the consumers demand that makes streaming high definition so important to live cams. Every year new cameras and TVs come out with higher definition than the previous year. This direct need trickles down to consumers porn.
XBIZ: How easy is it for affiliates to earn at Chaturbate?
LARA: Making money with Chaturbate is incredibly easy. There are multiple ways to earn. First we have our pay-per-lead program. The highest paying tier is $1 for every free registration (includes over 31 countries). The user simply creates a username and password. They don’t need to provide an email or credit card for the affiliate to get paid. We are paying out for genuinely free sign ups. Chaturbate also has a revshare program which is set for 20 percent of lifetime memberships. We rely on our girls to sell token packages. And they are very good at it.
For marketing tools we offer everything from co-branded whitelabels, API, embedded cams / chatrooms, instant messenger ads, and RSS feeds.
XBIZ: Where do the great ideas come from in your company?
LARA: Straight from our performers. Chaturbate is a software development company and sometimes we overlook things.
If a member of community took the time write an email and provide us their thoughts on how to make it a better places, its our responsibility and duty to take it serious.
XBIZ: What are some of the biggest challenges that you face in a typical week?
LARA: Ever heard the term “growing pains”? Well yeah, that’s us! We are constantly trying to sustain the traffic. In a way, we are lucky to have this problem.
XBIZ: How important is it to make a presence at the adult industry trade shows?
LARA: Trade shows are everything you make it out to be. It’s always best to attend with a goal in mind. I personally recommend setting up meetings in advance and have a schedule.
It’s hard to be at multiple places at the same time so figure out which event best fits your niche. Look at the company who is sponsoring and 99.9 percent of the time a representative will be there. Also don’t be shy in asking others to introduce you to certain people.
XBIZ: Can you name a person in the adult industry who has had a tremendous impact on you?
LARA: I can’t name one person but I was lucky to work with great companies in the past that were eager to help and take the time to teach me.
Everything from affiliate marketing, ad buying, website management, and handling models all made a difference in the way I look at things and handle them. Being in this biz has been the best teacher.
XBIZ: What are some of the things that make the adult cams business exciting for you?
LARA: Chaturbate’s community makes life so interesting and exciting. Its great to hear success stories from performers who are paying their way through college, single parents who now can support themselves comfortably, and performers falling in love.
We once had a couple who did shows together. He emailed us and let us know he was going to propose on a certain day and time. The entire office tuned in and watched his proposal. It was amazing.
XBIZ: What’s coming up for Chaturbate as we move forward to 2015?
LARA: Our plan is to have better mobile support to enable private shows on mobile phones.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
LARA: The work day typically starts at 8 a.m. sharp and ends around 7 p.m. It includes answering emails, following up on tasks, and basically making sure everything is running smoothly. We have two meetings a week; One with the owners and another with the staff.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do each of you like to do?
LARA: I’m really into fitness and healthy cooking. I hit the gym three times a week and cook Monday through Friday. My workouts vary from running on the harbor, boxing, and crossfit. I feel I get my best idea’s while working out. It really eases my mind when I’m stressed out.