Whether you see camming as a career or just a way to earn some quick extra cash, you’ll need to decide whether to work with a network or become a lone ranger. Many models learn the ropes by joining a network in the beginning and then branching out into indie territory. Others find sticking with a network is better for their peace of mind — and their bottom line. Still others combine the two, working for networks part of the time and spending the rest of their working hours with private fans.
Because most models will work with a network at some point in their careers, we’ve gathered the top 10 tips to help you make the most of that kind of relationship.
- Do your research. Check out social media, model chat boards and sites like YNOT Cam. If you’re considering joining a network, investigate a bunch of them to see which keep their models happy with resources for promotion, technical assistance, training and guidance. Do they handle copyright issues that may arise from stolen content?
- Before signing up, investigate payment. Some sites offer as little as 20 percent of the amount you earn on their platform, with the rest going for promotional costs and credit card payment processing. Most sites will pay weekly or every two weeks by depositing funds into a debit card account. Many models warn against using PayPal. The payment facilitator’s terms of service specifically prohibit using PayPal for adult entertainment transactions. If PayPal determines your funds were derived from any form of adult work, it will close your account and may keep some or all of the money.
- Provide the necessary documentation. Cam companies based in the U.S. require two forms of government-issued ID to verify you are 18 or older and legally allowed to work in the U.S. You also will be required to sign a “model release” and a 2257 form, provided to you by the company.
- Pick a memorable stage name. Try to pick a “nom de cam” that’s memorable but simple (not a bunch of symbols or difficult to read or pronounce). Once you figure out your name, check to see if it’s available on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and any other networks you plan to use for promotion. If you intend to build a website, you’ll need to check the availability of a URL, as well. You also should set up an email address (try Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) using your model name. Always use your model name online to protect your privacy.
- Get good pix. Before setting up your profile, you should have a dozen high-quality, hi-res photos that show what you want fans to notice and also what’s awesome about you. Decide whether you’re the candid, maybe outdoorsy type, a hi-style diva, a cosplay queen, a geek, “edgy” or the girl next door. Fans want to visualize your personality, and you want to encourage them to see more in private chat. The main profile pic should stand out visually, to get you noticed.
- Give your profile personality. Look at how other models set up their profiles. Can you use any of their ideas in a way that’s unique to you? Set yourself apart with a profile that can’t be ignored. Tell fans exactly who you are, what you enjoy and what you’ll to make sure they enjoy spending time with you. The network should provide plenty of suggestions and guidelines for how to make the most of the bells and whistles. Remember to include all your social media info so fans can find your camming persona where you hang out online. Even if you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, unless your partner will be camming with you, most models advise noting your relationship status as “single.”
- Double-check your equipment. An external camera (not the one that’s part of your laptop); a light set-up positioned correctly; props like costumes and sex toys; and a visually appealing background are what you will need. Many models set up physical message boards to use for contests or post their event schedule for fans. If you get bored with the way things look, so might your audience – be creative and make your room look interesting and appealing.
- Learn to feel confident on camera. Even for natural exhibitionists and flirts need to know the basics. Make sure you’re well groomed and feel comfortable with your body. Don’t just sit in front of your camera. Move around! Dance! Kickbox! Have fun! Experiment with your style, and you’ll soon find what works for you. Over time, you’ll learn a lot about what makes you and other people tick. Fans spend time and tips on models they enjoy, so being in a good mood while you’re working is a requirement. But you’re only human; definitely be confident enough to say “no,” if there’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing.
- Don’t be shy. Let’s face it: Camming is competitive. Time spent in your chat room will be more productive if you’re friendly and accessible in public chat … but don’t be too accessible. Beware of members asking for freebies. Just remind them what pleasure awaits when they pay for a private chat (#tips). Before long, you’ll start to recognize regulars, and you’ll make the most of opportunities to generate new fans. Create interest with contests, seasonal promotions and special rewards for big tippers and loyal fans. Post your schedule and be reliable. To get ideas, watch what other models do and learn from fan feedback.
- Promote yourself on social media. The greatest thing about online marketing is that you can reach a wide audience for very little financial investment — but using social media requires time and effort. Post regularly and let people know when you’ll be on cam. You can even tweet right from your group chat room! Twitter, Instagram and (maybe) Facebook are the most obvious platforms for networking. On profiles, remember to post a link to your Amazon Wishlist, as well as an email address if you wish to receive giftcards or inquiries. Other online resources where cam models may promote include industry forums and feeds like Streamate’s @CamGirlTweet. Live consumer and industry trade shows also offer opportunities for promotion, with a bonus: You’ll get to meet other models and fans face to face.