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WIA Profile: Amy Szabo

Women in Adult

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives. Women like Amy Szabo, Media Manager, CM Productions

How did you get into the business?

Being a female in a male-dominated space has its tricky sides, too. Our womanly charm, sensitivity and insightfulness are quite helpful in negotiations sometimes, but can quickly backfire if one is not careful enough.

I was looking for a job as a journalist back in 2006. I came to be hired by a company that started a soft core online magazine in English and Hungarian. It soon turned out, that this company owned a live cam site as well: LiveJasmin.com. The magazine had been terminated after a while, but I was offered a position in their brand new media buy team. It consisted of only three people at that time: my boss, a designer and me. I had the chance to help it grow up to 14 people and LiveJasmin to get more visibility than any other adult site.

What in your background prepared you for what you are doing now?

To be honest, I was a little anxious when I first started with the media buys, because I didn’t have any sales or marketing background. Then I ran into a friend, who enlightened me: “What are you so worried about? You graduated in English and communications. And exactly that is your job now.” I learned the specific ways of adult business on the go. I’ve been buying traffic for several years, and then switched to helping ExoClick advertisers maximize their investments and ROI. I attended various trade shows all over the world, getting acquainted with the most prominent personalities of the adult space and absorbing intelligence.

With such a history, and having crossed paths with them several times during my career, joining CM Productions came quite naturally. The success of the BaDoink brand and its products has facilitated the birth of many exciting projects and fresh products, so they needed an extra hand to work on traffic acquisition and marketing both for mobile and desktop. My expertise and the company’s necessities overlap.

However, business practices and goals differ from company to company, and CM Productions is one of a kind, so my knowledge is being put to a test every day, which is awesome.

What do you see as the challenges of working in the adult online business? How do you overcome them?

A constant challenge in the online (not only adult) business is that it’s ever changing. New trends come and go rapidly, so one has to be aware of what’s hot and adapt their ways of business accordingly. Ever since I work in this industry, I never stopped learning and I don’t think this will change anytime soon. My enthusiasm and open-mindedness are great allies in the process. Also, it is essential to think outside the box, which can be quite a task sometimes, but a lively and facilitative environment like the BaDoink team and offices make this a lot easier.

Being a female in a male-dominated space has its tricky sides, too. Our womanly charm, sensitivity and insightfulness are quite helpful in negotiations sometimes, but can quickly backfire if one is not careful enough. I’ve always paid keen attention to staying absolutely professional and respectable (sometimes even tough, they say), while being the silly Amy, who loves a good joke.

In the past years the adult industry underwent many unexpected changes, and as a consequence, lots of its players began to work on solutions that open the doors to the mainstream. However, only a lucky few were able to come close to their goal, if at all. The challenge is huge and irresistible. CM Productions decided to take action on this as well. Some of the tools have already been defined and designed, and it’s only getting better, so stay tuned for some amazing stuff coming soon.

Does your work life affect your personal life?

Absolutely. During the past seven years I collected a number of dear friends and acquaintances, which I can count on no matter what. This is a wonderful side effect of working with clients and partners. Having traveled to so many trade shows made me more cosmopolitan, I even changed countries for an adult industry job — something I never expected at the start.

Also, I keep being the star of the conversation, whenever I meet my non-industry friends and start talking about what we do for a living. Everyone else’s job sounds just so conventional compared to mine, that I got used to getting millions of questions and sometimes spending hours answering and joking about the subject. One time I was late for a big party and when I arrived, the hostess called out on the top of her lungs: “Hey everyone, here is my friend from porn!” I spent half of the evening at where I was standing at the time of that “introduction,” explaining. This topic just never gets old.

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