Natalie Star is one of the highest-profile cam stars on the net. The Fleshlight CamStar model has appeared in Playboy, and her insights and business savvy have been featured prominently across adult industry media. Star has been recruiting and mentoring models since 2010 — and models who work with her are becoming some of today’s top earners.
* * *
One of the great advantages of a strong network is the infrastructure and protection it provides. But just like your services don’t come for free, neither does the traffic networks spend millions acquiring to keep models’ rooms full.
No one likes paying taxes. Similarly, no model likes receiving only a percentage of what the customer actually spends. But also like taxes, which go toward useful things like roads and schools, the percent a network keeps goes toward things that enhance models’ online experience — everything from traffic, programmers, and credit card billing fees to model bonuses and contest money.
Sometimes though, models get dazzled by the idea of keeping the total amount of money clients spend, not realizing how the revenue share between models and networks is mutually beneficial.
“It’s no secret that I own and operate Major League Cams, one of the top recruiting studios at Flirt4Free,” Natalie Star said. “Over the years, I have recruited and mentored some of the highest earning models on the net.”
But even after guiding countless models from a wide range of backgrounds, someone as experienced as Star still runs across things that make her shake her head — models succumbing to the temptation to take clients offsite being the most baffling.
“The one thing I’ve never been able to understand is why a model would risk their safety and their livelihood by trying to take a network’s customers offsite,” she said. “Now don’t get me wrong, I hear about high stakes and temptation all the time when I have to ban models who were caught doing this — ‘But Natalie, he said he would pay me $1,000 if I Skyped with him’ — things like that.”
According to Star, the lure of additional zeros in a bank account has caused even the most dedicated, grounded models to do a double-take. But taking a client out of network is never a good idea.
“I understand that the idea of earning the full $1,000 instead of a percent is truly appealing,” Star said. “But here’s what a lot of models hypnotized by dollar signs don’t think about.”
When this guy runs out of money, what are you going to do?
Networks dedicate significant time and resources to making sure they have the highest amount of relevant traffic available. It’s no accident that potential clients who are looking for models like you — models whose style and demeanor correspond to the network’s unique culture — are directed to specific sites online. And one successful redirect on your part is not going to outweigh the amount of opportunity available within that network. At least, not in the long term.
“Think about it,” Star explained. “When you cam on a network that provides you with traffic and you get caught trying to steal it, you are going to be banned from that network.
“So you were able to redirect one customer. How long will that one person last?” she continued. “And now you went from making $1,000 to $5,000 a pay period to making nothing because you thought that trying to redirect the network’s customer was going to work out better for you then camming for a percent.”
Smetimes redirected customers get vindictive, especially when they realize your relationship is strictly professional and your time doesn’t come free.
“I cannot tell you how many times it was the customer who kept a screen shot log of [his and the model’s] offsite conversations and Skype shows and reported them to the network after they realized the model was not going to meet up with them,” Star revealed.
Your safety is more important then any amount of money.
It’s 2016, and by now we’ve all heard of catfishing — when someone lures someone else into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Sadly, catfishing is only one of many online scams.
“The internet is a scary place,” Star said. “It’s easy to hide behind a screen and pretend to be something you are not. Customers who ask for offsite contact will many times tell you its because they would rather give you all the money instead of you just earning a percent. Believe me, though, when I say that these guys usually have no interest in your well-being.”
From identity games like catfishing, financial scams, and time-wasting to far more dangerous endeavors, any sort of online exchange must be approached with a high degree of caution. When you put sex in the mix, you’d better be extra careful.
“I’m not saying everyone is a serial killer, but I am saying why risk it?” Star said.
Your reputation is worth more than $1,000.
Although the internet may seem endless and anonymous, it’s not. The webcam biz may look like networks are completely separate from one another, but theindustry really is more like a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s personal business. Just like in a small town, word gets around.
“When you sign up with a network, you are agreeing to their terms and conditions,” Star said. “If you later decide those terms and conditions don’t work for you, there’s a ‘right way’ to move on.”
According to Star, attitude is everything in life, and model energy is far better spent on building skills on cam.
“If models would put as much time into trying to build a solid online customer base as they tend to do trying to figure out how to steal from the network, I assure you that they would see a huge difference in the amount they were earning online as a webcam model,” she said.
According to Star, after seven years (and counting) online, “I personally have never had to Skype or exchange any type of personal information in order to be able to successfully do my job.”
She advises always being mindful of your long game. “The amount of offsite money I have turned down could never outweigh the amount of money I have earned as a studio and a performer within my network.”
“At the end of the day, I guess it all depends on whether you want to be a cam model or a cam star,” she said. “I know which route I’ve chosen.”
Visit Natalie Star on Twitter at @NatalieStarLive.