MIAMI — In the first of many packed-beyond-capacity cam model panel sessions, with legions of vivacious stars filling rows and rows of chairs, Vera Sky and FloraBella dazzled attendees with their hard-won wisdom in "Camming: 101" on Wednesday, May 31.
After a brief introduction, Sky underscored the importance of treating tippers as more than just a source of income. "They are not ATMs," she explained. "Be sure to be grateful for everything they give you — always remind them how much they mean to you. You're a fantasy to them, they want to laugh, have a good time and yes, maybe see boobs.
"Try to develop a real relationship with them, since it's obvious when someone is just using you," she advised. "Don't be that girl!" That said, Sky knows the value of being playful with her admirers, crafting engaging scenarios and delightful teases that get them all riled up and hooked.
FloraBella, who was profiled as the XBIZ Cam Star of the Month for April, agreed. "You have to treat them like they're your friends, and after doing this for so many years, they truly do become part of your life," she enthused. "They're real people and the people I share most of my time with. To me it's a profession, not just something I want to do short-term, and so I have people come up to me years later after not seeing me and they still remember me, offering a big surprise of tokens!"
Her approach differs from Sky, however, when it comes to enticing tippers to share the wealth. Sky seductively portrays the fantasy of being single and ready to mingle, with lighthearted tipping competitions about who's going to marry her and who loves her the most, whereas FloraBella makes it very clear that she will only ever be their friends. Both approaches appeal to their loyal audience, because just like every cam model is unique, so too are their devoted clientele. Whether tippers are seeking a girlfriend experience, friendship or a simple release, cam models can adapt or stick to their guns, accordingly.
Raffles and games also comprise a significant portion of Sky and FloraBella's earnings, which prompted a healthy Q&A discussion between audience members and the panelists about the virtues of creating dozens of handwritten tickets vs. time-saving tools like online randomizers that can calculate winners. A personal touch and customized love can go a long way, but it can also devour precious time.
Above all, however, Sky emphasized how critical it was to be online with regularity, especially newer cam models. "One of the biggest mistakes I made when I began camming was that I was not consistent with it,” she recalled. “I would get online maybe once a week, and by doing that, I did not have the time to really connect with members and build a following. Instead of being the girl they came to watch to laugh and have a good time with, I was the girl who got the random guys that just wanted to get off really quick, then log off.”
This degree of consistency can also help cam models avoid the pitfall of only staying online if a big tipper is around, FloraBella noted. “When we have a good month, sometimes it’s because we have a new big tipper,” she said. “We can end up making the mistake of getting in a comfort zone, and when they’re not there, we sign out. Don’t wait for the same person tipping you. The day that person cannot offer you help, you’ll end up back at zero.”
Once cam models have established a reliable schedule, Sky and FloraBella advise sticking to no more than two or three networks, rather than bouncing around. It becomes easier to cultivate a pool of returning customers, they stated, with an established and predictable presence. And to better convey hourly availability, they agreed social media was critical, with Twitter receiving the most praise for its less draconian censorship standards and enforcement.
However, Sky understands social media is a double-edged sword for those who are not outed yet. She recently penned an emotional and inspiring article in the May issue of XBIZ Cam World about her journey — and, she came out to her town shortly before XBIZ Miami, amidst a spectacular whirlwind of Twitter-fueled announcements, in-person chats with strangers, XBIZ-themed t-shirts and her painted car, enticing passersby to vote for her in the XBIZ Cam Awards and inquire about her camming career.
“The topic of social media can be really controversial because some girls don’t want to be ‘found’ by friends or family,” she reflected. “They fear their social media will be found and their relationships with loved ones would be ruined. I used to feel the same way — I was so afraid to put myself on social media and market myself. It makes things really hard because you end up limiting yourself from putting your name out there, getting sales and growing a fanbase.”
Another tricky situation is learning which networks permit certain content, and which ones will ban you outright for coloring outside the lines. FloraBella previously performed shows with her sister on occasion, innocently bantering back and forth while playing games like Jenga and wearing panties, but they never engaged in anything remotely sexual with one another. Then, one day, a trollish viewer reported them and they got in trouble with the network, for even the appearance of impropriety with a relative. “It was fun while it lasted and we made a lot of cash,” she reminisced. “Sometimes, we have sisters and are lucky enough to share the same career, but check the rules and be safe just in case.”
Sky and FloraBella affirmed that situations like this can be avoided by carefully reading policies. Some, for example, do not permit teddy bears in the background, to avoid dancing too closely to the barely legal threshold. Still, that should not discourage models from jazzing up their rooms with exciting décor and engaging doodads.
“It’s important to keep things new,” Sky imparted. “It can be really easy for guys to get bored, so I suggest switching things up every so often like your tip menu, makeup, outfits, hair. Adding activities to the room is another great way! Themed shows also do well — Christmas, Halloween and Easter — and dressing up in little sexy costumes always gets the guys in my room excited.”
A great many other hot topics were examined throughout the panel, eliciting laughter, a few teary-eyed moments and strengthened bonds between the cam models in attendance. This camaraderie was only the beginning of the unforgettable moments and friendships forged in the heart of XBIZ Miami, where cam networks, studios and models of every stripe are welcomed with open arms for a healthy mix of informative sessions and partying.