The ABC’s of sex work is to help those who are already in the industry to work better and safer. Like any job in you go to, there are certain requirement and skills that are needed. Although there is no interview process for the sex industry, there is still qualifications and skills that get used to do this work.
It cannot be repeated enough that the perception that “Sex work is easy and Anyone can do it” is wrong.
It is a customer based industry. This means it also falls into the larger sales and services industry. A list of some of the attributes and skills that can make up this work include customer service, sales, administration, budgeting, stocktaking, time management, advertising, marketing computer skills, working with excel, word, web design, modeling, make up and hair styling. keep going. The list keeps going.
There are so many nonsexual skills that are important. If we lived in a society where sex work was fully accepted as just another customer service industry an advertisement may look something like the above.
It is common for people to start working in the sex industry and not realise how much is actually needed or involved. Its like starting a business, you need to know the basics otherwise the business wont work or others may take advantage of your ethics. By understanding some of these principles, you may be able to create a better and safer work environment or outcomes.
The information provided is to help those in the industry to have a better understanding and awareness of sex work from a standard business industry point of view.
The most important elements of sex work are the nonsexual ones. These include:
- Sales and Marketing
- Customer Service
- Social Media
- Health & Safety
Note: Health & Safety can be found here.
Any industry that has someone providing a product or a service to another person, needs to know about customer service. This is not just about ensuring the customer is happy but also ensuring you know how to deal with difficult customers. To be successful you want happy customers but you want the right customers as well. Just because someone wants to buy it doesn't mean you have to sell. This applies to all industries therefore there is a lot of resources that give advice on how to have happy customers and how to deal with difficult customers.
Great customer service is key
Understanding the customer is essential to great customers service. Great customer service is essential to gain repeat customers. Repeat customers are core to your business as they are the foundation on which profitable businesses are built. You will find many articles and videos online to help you learn or improve this skill. We have provided a sample of videos and body language books below as a starting point.
The customer isn't always right
Although you want your customers to be happy, that doesn't mean they are always right. Other industries realise this and take steps to manage them, and so should you. Below Legalmatch.com have listed some conditions that a restaurant may refuse service. Put sex worker in where it says restaurant. No amount is worth putting yourself in a hazard situation. Let any disorderly clients go and wait for the next one.
By saying No to clients that don't respect you or your space, you leave room for the large number of people who will respect you and your space. Sex workers turn down clients all the time, if they are disrespectful. Businesses do it as well.
Here is a list of 105 ways to deal with difficult clients which have been tried and implemented by other business owners. Difficult clients are found in every industry.
Body language, tone of voice and our words all part part when we interact with each other. Allen Pease is a well know name in the communications business especially with body language. His books have been around for years. They were always must reads for anyone from beginners to the CEO's.
Sales & Marketing is everywhere. Any job where one party receives goods or services from another party, sales and marketing is involved. Even in life, in interviews, dating, whenever we meet new people there is an element of sales. Everyone has these skills at a base level. Not everybody knows how to use them.
The resource videos will help you understand selling in action and how that can help you. Sex Industry also falls into the larger sales industry. As you listen to the videos put yourself, sex work and clients into the videos, and you will find the advice holds true.
~Do You Have The Right Stuff?
~Controlling Your Destiny
~Basic Effective Communication
~Sales and Attitude
~Selling The Invisible
You, Inc. The Art of Selling
If you don't provide what the customer is looking for; do not compromise. You know your services and boundaries. Another customer will come along, other industries know this. The customer has the right to either meet the costs or go elsewhere. This is why customers commonly get quotes when looking for service providers whether the industry is tradesmen, accountants, lawyers, interior designers or other groups.
Marketing is the promotion of your service.
In the Adult industry we need to describe ourselves, our looks, our services. In retail or food industries its a catchphrase or motto or colours. In people based services its about that person, for examples look at companies About Us pages. In this industry the marketing is the same.
The below movie excerpts are great examples of marketing and advertising. Who is your target audience? What was get their interest? Watch the two short clips below before continuing.
~ To help you get into a creative mood, put on some music, grab a drink and have some fun.
~ See yourself, your service not just through your eyes but through the eyes of your audience
Music helps get the creative juices flowing. You'll notice how he changes the music to change his perspective. This can help if you are not use to descriptive or creative writing.
Like all business you want a great description. Creative writing you use words to describe something or promote feeling. Have a look at how creative writing was used for Cola slogans here. Its painting a picture in the mind of your audience so they can see it, feel it or even draw them in, it. There's a story you are telling. It can be obtuse like the cola slogans or clear and descriptive. The About Us page has an example of creative writing. Rewrite the ad until you are happy with it.
Nowadays have an online presences can increase your business. You don't have to use social media, it may not be suitable to your circumstance. Ensure you do what is right for you.
Some of the suggested media include:
Most of these are straight forwards so we only expand further on websites.
You don't need to spend a lot and when your starting you want to keep your costs down. As Holly from KittyKorner mentions its good to check the terms and conditions to ensure the host it okay with adult services. She checked and found Wix were fine with this.
You also should make sure your site is safe from anyone underage. Below are some free website labelling tools to ensure your website is SAFE from under aged internet users.
You can use one or all of them but we do highly recommend using them.
- SafeLabeling.org is a non-profit organization whose initiative is to create a standard in website labeling, so that adult orientated sites can efficiently and effectively keep minors off their websites.
- SafeSurf®, says its the birthplace of the Internet's voluntary rating standard and the first family organization devoted to building a safe Internet.
- The RTA Label is free to use, voluntary, and universally available to any website that wishes to clearly and effectively label itself as being inappropriate for viewing by minors.
A few other free online tools you may find helpful for picture editing are:
- PicMonkey lets you resize, add text, borders, all sorts of things. If you need a base use the program paint on your laptop or computer filling in the background the colour or shape you needed, then upload.
- Online Image Editor will allow you to add transparency to the background. It also has many other features.
- FotoFlexer is a good tool if you want to merge photos. It has many other features.
There are some outlays in starting your business and the may be different depending on what sector you are in. The adult industry also includes massage, phone sex, web camming, amateur and professional porn as well as full service. Regardless of which sector, you should keep to a budget and track your earning and outlays.
The easiest pay to do this is through a smartphone app or excel spreadsheet. We have put a few links to app lists, some of which have been tried and liked. There is a range from keeping track of money other people owe you or simple budgets to being able to connect your bank accounts and budget together. A couple of Apps are US/Canada only, like Mint, so ensure you read an apps conditions thoroughly before deciding but there should be something to suit anyone.
Keep track of your business and personal expenses as well as income will support your progress in reaching your goals and help keep your spending inline.
There is a mixture of free and paid apps at the above links. We can not recommend any particular apps or make guarantees on behalf of third parties. It is your responsibility to check any tools you use to ensure it is right for your situation and purpose.
We also suggest watching the tips and advice videos from our contributors:
The internet has a wealth of knowledge as does sex worker positive organisation.
Seek. Talk. Learn. Before you make the decision.