Live Camming Today: A Professional Performer's Perspective
LOS ANGELES — The ongoing success of the live adult cam scene involves a triad of factors, ranging from technology, to consumer demand, to the professionalism of performers.
XBIZ recently discussed today’s camming scene with pro-cammer and XBIZ.net member Natalie Star, to get an insider’s view of the opportunities available in interactive adult entertainment. In addition to her cam performances, Natalie owns Major League Cams, where she specializes in cultivating top earning models. She was profiled in Playboy, and is also a Fleshlight Girl, featured in the company’s popular series of male masturbators.
Here’s what she had to say:
XBIZ: How did you first hear about camming opportunities and what got you into the business?
Natalie Star: I was 18 and stuck between a rock and a hard place, when an older man I had recently met suggested I come work for him as a model mentor. Although I knew nothing about the cam industry, he assured me that it was a lot easier than it sounded and that he thought I would be great at it.
Long story short, I found myself wanting to see what it would be like on the other side of the camera.
XBIZ: Is camming your primary adult business, or are you camming in support of a personal paysite or other offers, such as selling personal items or promoting a dance or video career?
Star: I have been a cam model going on seven years come this October. To date I not only own and operate one of the top 10 recruiting studios on Flirt4Free’s network, but I recently signed a Fleshlight contract, and my personal mold is now available via [its] CamStar Line.
XBIZ: How important is it to build relationships with fans (and upsell them on other offers)?
Star: When you work in sales it is very important to be as friendly as possible, and although the art of being able to upsell anyone is a talent within itself, I do not conduct my chat room in an aggressive manner. Therefore, everyone that comes to see me on a daily basis knows that they do not have to spend a dime to be able to have a conversation with me.
I feel that by treating everyone as an equal whether they are a big spender or not is the key ingredient in my success over the years.
XBIZ: Do you do your own self-promotion / social media to drive customers to your cam?
Star: Although I am very active on Twitter and my fan site, I have to be honest in saying that Flirt4Free has been amazing over the years in regards to flooding my room with traffic.
XBIZ: Are you working from home, or a studio / other location? If you are working from home, what technical challenges did you face in setting up your cam system? If you are working at a studio, what factors led you to choose that particular studio to work with?
Star: As a (virtual) studio owner myself, I have to say that I believe that the safest place for myself or any other model on my payroll is to be in their own environment, whether that is from their house or apartment, etc.
Today, anyone with a high-speed internet connection, basic laptop, and a decent webcam can find that it is not hard to get up and running. The biggest obstacle I find myself dealing with is trying to get the models to understand the importance of proper lighting. If a model’s room is too dark, it can detour potential spenders and discourage the model. While at the same time, if a model’s room is too brightly lit, it can have the same effect as a poorly lit room.
XBIZ: Likewise, what influenced you to join the cam program(s) you work with? How many programs do you work with, do you cam on all at the same time, or switch between them?
Star: Although Flirt4Free is home, I have to say that I didn’t always feel that way. The bigger I got and the larger my studio became, I eventually wanted to see what else was out there.
I had spoken on a few panels by this time and had developed a pretty good relationship with many of the representatives from a few of the other leading cam networks. In setting up a multitude of studio accounts across the net and placing models everywhere from A to Z, I quickly found myself placing more and more of my models back on Flirt4Free where it began.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that they have the best platform on the net. What I am saying is that they have the best platform for what I need.
XBIZ: What payment / show model do you prefer: tips, group or private shows, and why?
Star: As amazing as it is to receive tips while on and offline, I prefer one on one private shows. Over the years, I’ve laughed and cried with some really good guys who genuinely care about the things going on in my life, both in front of and behind the camera. For me, it’s the time spent in one-on-one private shows that seem to mean the most.
XBIZ: What services or tools would make your job easier and more profitable?
Star: As the internet changes, so does the way we use it. With everything rapidly turning to mobile, I’d like to see platforms offer the ability for models to be able to broadcast from their tablets and cellular devices. Today it seems as if everyone is constantly on the go. Imagine the potential of being able to take your chat room with you in the palm of your hand.
XBIZ: Do you have any advice for other performers, promoters, studios or cam companies?
Star: Webcam modeling is a job. Like any job, you get out of it what you put into it. Regardless of what you look like or how personal and flirty you are, if you are never on cam, then no one will take the time to get to know you.
Working daily a minimum of four hours straight each time you log on is a great way to learn to work for yourself. Set a schedule, and after a week or two add an hour and work a minimum of five hours a day each time you log on and so on. Before you know it, you will be able to work your webcam job like a nine-to-five with no problem.
For more information, fans can follow Natalie on Twitter @NatalieStarLive.