Even in challenging economic times, creative entrepreneurs find ways to make money — and in the adult entertainment industry, some of the most resourceful entrepreneurs are webcam models. But the adult webcam field has become increasingly competitive, and the cam models who stand the best chance of prospering are the ones with the best promotional and marketing strategies.
One webcam success story is Las Vegas-based Natalie Star, whose sites include NatalieStarEnt.com and NatalieStar.com. Star said that in 2011, she “grossed over $300,000” from her NatalieStarEnt.com platform — and that isn’t counting what she earned from her shows. Star said that there is a lot more competition in the cam field than when she became a cam model in 2009.
Ideally, cam models should look to a variety of adult and mainstream avenues to promote themselves.
“Even three years ago, it seems that there were less sites then there are today for models to cam from,” Star observed. “In all reality, though, new sites go up everyday, yet with no traffic, they sit vacant like online ghost towns. Models come and go in this business. I see new girls daily on the front page who won’t make 60 days; I myself add 25-plus models a week to the site via my company NatalieStarEnt.com. The truth is that many people think they can log on an hour here, an hour there and get rich, (but) the money is in consistency. The more you are on, the bigger your customer base will grow too.”
Ideally, cam models should look to a variety of adult and mainstream avenues to promote themselves. Cam model Sophia Locke (SophiaLocke.com) cited Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr as examples of mainstream outlets that can be effective promotional resources. “By far, the absolute best tool that can be used from a promotions standpoint for a cam girl would be Twitter,” Locke asserted. “I started off using it primarily as a promotions tool and concentrated on just acquiring followers. I didn’t really enjoy it and didn’t think it would be something I would eventually use very heavily. However, I saw that by the time I hit my first 1,000 followers, I was tweeting not just for promotions, but because I was actually enjoying the interactions with those who watch my show. I got a lot closer with my followers and realized that so many of them are just a lot of fun to interact with. I now recognize that you can really get to know your audience well and even make some good friends out of it. Using Twitter in conjunction with Tumblr helps to make promotions and interactions a breeze.”
Star pointed to adult-oriented Internet radio stations like PleasureRadio.fm and MidnightBlueRadio.com as excellent places for cam models to promote themselves. And she stressed that models should never forget the importance of private shows.
“Cam models don’t get paid to just sit on cam,” Star explained, “We get paid via tips and private shows. So while in private, it is very important to focus on the customer and his/her wants or needs. Make eye contact, smile, and be sure to say their name as often as possible if they give it to you.”
Star added that one thing that cam models should never do is insult the competition. “Now and then,” Star noted, “you will find a new model on a site bad-mouthing the other models in attempts to make themselves look good. That is a huge no-no. Even my best customers will spend on other girls and then come spend with me to tell me all about it. In fact, I encourage it. It’s like having a girlfriend that lets you fuck other girls. So when a model gets angry at their customer for being in another model’s room, they are only pushing the customer away. I like to say ‘Oh shit, was she hot? Let’s go private so you can tell me all about it.’ Bad-mouthing others will always result in only making yourself look bad.”
As the cam field has grown in popularity, so have cam niches—and in 2012, a niche-specific cam model might have anything from a BDSM focus to a goth focus to a hip-hop focus. Adult model Lisa Sparks, whose LisaSparks.com site has been online for 12 years, said: “If you know the niche you are in, then work that niche instead of trying too many things that don’t work. And fetish stuff is a great area, as there is a market for everything.”
Ohio-based cam model Paris Lee (PrincessParisLee.com) emphasized that doing extensive research is crucial if a cam model wants to explore specific niches. “I love fetish work,” Lee noted. “I try new fetishes on cam with the guys and ask them what they want in a session prior to the time we spend. If you still aren’t sure about it, then do some research. Google makes everything accessible. There’s no reason to not know what you’re doing in this line of work.”
Some cam models will provide free shows as a way of promoting their paid shows, but Sparks cautioned against offering too many freebies. “I think the only thing that can hurt a webcam model is the fact that sometimes, they give away too much for free,” Sparks asserted. “That hurts not only that model, but all models, as why pay for a show when you can get one for free?”
Locke observed that cam modeling has gone from being “something that was previously thought of as supplemental income at best” to being “a new career path in which a model can make a very good living.” And Sparks said that the cam field has reached the saturation point, adding that models can still break through if they promote themselves both wisely and aggressively. “The market is very saturated, to be honest—and there are so many places that offer such different types of services that it makes it hard to break in,” Sparks explained. “Aspiring models just need to realize that when they are getting started, it may be a slow go. But with time and good shows, they can make it.”