Nobody said performing was going to be easy, in fact they probably told you not to do it or that you weren’t cut out for it. They told you that you’d get taken advantage of and that you’d never make it to the top. But you have thick skin, a strong work ethic and at least some common sense because you got your foot in the door and you’ve made it this far. So, if you’re ready to take it to the next level, keep reading. Because we have some tips that are designed to supercharge your marketing activities.
1. Get Organized
Before putting a ton of effort into something, it might be a good idea to keep track of these efforts, so you know what’s working, what’s not and whether or not the time you are investing is paying off. That’s why it’s important to build a stack of tools that do just that. We live in the internet age people; there are literally hundreds of free tools out there that you can use to help organize your small business, because that’s what you’re running by the way, in case you haven’t noticed by now, a business. There’s Tweet Deck for scheduling tweets, there’s Hivage for accounting, there’s Dropbox for storing content and Clockify for time tracking; the possibilities are endless. However, if you’re old school like me, you’re probably keeping track of everything in Excel, which has its advantages too, mainly that your files are accessible offline. We create all kinds of dashboards in Excel to track everything from scene releases to marketing activities, sensitive logins and passwords, to contacts, etc. It doesn’t really matter what you use, as long as it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your business. Find what works best for you and what’s going to allow your operation to run as efficiently as possible. Better that your fans get most of the attention, not the day to day of running your business.
2. Get Engaged
Not that kind of engaged lol, social media engaged! Twitter and Instagram are a given, Snapchat should be on the list too, as they literally have millions of users which you can monetize. We’ll touch on this more a bit later. This section deals more with the strategy for building an audience on these platforms. The secret to building a fan base on social media, is “community”. Our industry is a tight-knit group and if you want to be a part of this community, you have to engage with it. Follow performers and studios you like, comment on their stuff, add value to the conversation, slide into their DMs. But don’t forget about your fans, they buy your content and support your work, so make sure they get some love, too. Whether it is on Instagram or YouTube, the best way to become part of a community is to help shape it by interacting with it. Build a cult around your brand, creating believers who will evangelize you to the world.
3. Get Content
With the basics out of the way, now we can focus on the product, because without a product to sell, you’re just spinning your wheels. At this point, you should have connected with at least some fellow performers, maybe you’ve even made a few friends, maybe they even live in your city. If not, that’s okay; because there’s plenty you can do solo. One of the best ways to get solo content for example, is to record one of your cam shows. However, if you have access to talent, trade is the way to go. There are a few different ways to do trade. You can do clip for a clip, where you shoot a scene for them and they shoot a scene for you and you each retain the rights to your respective content or you can collaborate on one scene together and share the rights to the raw footage and make your own clip or even share the same edited version of the clip. We affectionately refer to this type of trade as “shared content”. In any event, whatever you do, make sure you get proper paperwork, which means a physical model release form from the other talent and copies of their photo ID.
4. Get Traffic
Content is king, but distribution is queen. Okay, so you’ve shot some content and you’ve edited it into an actual scene, probably using iMovie, which is fine, it doesn’t need to be fancy. But now, you need to find a way to sell it. This is where it can all get a bit overwhelming. You see, there are dozens of ways to sell your content, there’s ManyVids and Clips4Sale and MFC Share and SideDaddy and there’s also your own membership site, which may be the most lucrative option of all if you can keep it updated, because you own all the traffic and you’re building SEO value against own your domain, not somebody else’s. But of course, that comes with its own set of challenges, which we’ll cover more in the next section. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks. Regardless, it’s important to try different platforms until you find the one that works best for you. At Arm Candy Creative, we’ll create a performer development plan that best suits your needs. Whether it be helping you choose and set up your clip stores or building you a membership site, we’re here to guide you through the process and maximize your potential for success.
5. Get Paid
Arguably, the most important section of this article will cover the basics of getting that money. As a performer, your opportunities for monetization are ridiculous. This Internet thing seriously changed the game. This particular article focused more on video content that you intend to monetize via clip stores or a membership site, in which case, you’ll need to set yourself up to get paid. When it comes to clip stores, your options are somewhat limited but usually include check, wire transfer and direct deposit into your bank account. If you decide to launch your own membership site however, you will need to get your fans on a recurring monthly billing plan, which means you’ll need a credit card processor and a merchant account. I know what you’re thinking, “this all sounds super complicated, maybe I should just stick with the clip stores, the fees won’t be worth it”. The truth is that most clip stores keep anywhere from 25 - 50% of what you earn on their platform, where as a third-party processor such as CCBill charges way less and offers way more. They make sure you keep more of the money you earn and that it always ends up in your bank account.
Aside from pure video content, there are so many other ways to monetize your fanbase. I’m assuming I’ve already lost your attention by now, so I’m just gonna list them… Camming, Skype shows, scene work, customs, phone chat/text services, selling merchandise, selling your memorabilia, signing at events, selling your Snapchat premium, working directly with brands. Honestly, I could write a whole article on any one of the topics, so let’s just end this here and save that for another day.
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