Thursday, November 12, 2009

Advertising and Promotion

“I did a lot of promotion on my website of where I was going to be performing so I had quite a few regulars. Every private dance that I did, I gave the customer a business card with my website URL on it. That REALLY helped my website take off and made me a lot of money on the side.”

To keep a good business, you must promote yourself. Depending on your area of expertise, different forms of promotion or advertising would be suitable. Promotion through word-of-mouth and networking (attending parties and events, joining internet communities, etc) is always important. But if you want to reach a larger audience, you need more.

The following advertising and promotional information was collected in 2009.

Newspapers

There are two ways to get exposure in a newspaper. You can pay to advertise. Or you can write a press release, send it to the newspaper, and hope they contact you to write a story.

Post an Ad

To post an ad in a newspaper with a photo, it costs around $120 to $150 per week. You have complete control over what is posted. You supply the photo and content.

Be aware that trans workers are not always welcome advertising next to female workers and post-op trans persons are sometimes also excluded from trans sections. Also, many she-males advertise as trans.

Send a Press Release

Getting a newspaper to run an article about your business does not guarantee it will be a positive one. So, you must be careful if you are attempting to get free exposure this way.

Ensure that your message is clearly thought out and you are operating a very ethical business. Otherwise you might bring attention on yourself that you don’t really want after all.

Since a reporter is writing the story and a photographer taking the photo, you have very little control over how the article will turn out. You can only control what you say. But even that is faulty if your words are misinterpreted by the reporter, or credited to you in a context that is inaccurate.

Press releases are best for events, fundraisers, launches, and other fun stories. Make sure your message is a positive one. You need a headline that will pop out at someone who is leafing through hundreds of press releases. Come up with something catchy to get their attention (they’ll make up their own for the actual news story).

Before the first paragraph, write the city and abbreviate the province in capital letters. Example:

VANCOUVER, BC. Then start your first paragraph on the same line.

The first paragraph should have all the important information – who, what, when, where, why, and how. Try to create an interesting first sentence to lead into that information. But keep all the paragraphs short.

The press release should read like an article, not an advertisement. So give facts, rather than flowery, boastful statements of opinion. Keep it as short and compelling as possible. You can tell them the things you omitted during the interview.

Include quotes to make the release more interesting. Quotes should always be sexy. That means they should be interesting and different from other typical sentences.

Bad quote: “We have twelve contestants,” said volunteer, Janet James, of the wet t-shirt contest for charity.

Good quote: “Raising money for charity gets us all wet,” said volunteer, Janet James, of the wet t-shirt contest for charity.

Internet

You can advertise your services, post ads in classifieds sections, or create your own website online for free. The following information was collected from Trade Secrets contributors.

Online Resources

www.Craigslist.org
Post a free classified listing. Forty million visitors per month, by far the most popular; however, you also receive a large number of “junk” calls (individuals always seeking deals). Craigslist is instant, you post your ad and your phone rings 15 minutes later. It is free in Canada and gets a lot of traffic. In the U.S., Craigslist recently changed its policy and started charging $5.00 to $10.00 per posting. The confidentiality of the posting no longer exists. You are required to provide a credit card and phone number to post ads. They will provide that information to law enforcement if subpoenaed.

www.nakedtruth.ca
You can post classifieds for free, manage your online image, post photos, keep a blog, and engage in discussions with other industry members, patrons, and allies. The Naked Truth welcomes all genders and all genres of the sex industry and provides a safe space for adult entertainers. Entertainers only forums and groups are available.

www.cerf.ca
CERF- Canadian Escort Review Forum - Free ads, reviews of workers, private “Ladies Only” Lounge, blacklist, health information.

www.perb.ca
PERB- Pacific Escort Review Board - Paid ads, lots of traffic for ads, reviews of workers, health information, neighbourhood watch.

www.cerb.ca
CERB- Canadian Escort Recommendation Board - Free ads, private workers only lounge, escort recommendations. health information.

www.terf.ca
TERF- Toronto Escort Review Forum - Paid ads, lots of traffic for ads, reviews of workers, health information.

www.merc.ca
MERC- Montreal Escort Review Community - Paid ads, lots of traffic for ads, reviews of workers, health information.

www.barrb.ca
BARRB- Best of Aggassiz Regional Review Board - Free ads, reviews of workers, health information.

Get Your Own Free Website

If you google "free website", it brings up several web hosting sites that let you create a site for free using their templates. Use your website to refer potential clients to so you don’t have to answer questions. List the services you’ll perform and rates on the site. You can also use a calendar component that lets your clients know when you’re available.

Here are some sites that have been used by contributors to Trade Secrets.

www.escortsite.com
www.webs.com
www.rare-escorts.com

Create Your Own Free Blog

You can create what amounts to a free website but works like an online journal where you can post photos, write stories about your life, post your schedule and contact information, among other things. There are many to choose from but two well-used sites are:

www.blogger.com
www.wordpress.com

Chat for Free

You can also go into chatrooms on the internet for free and find dates there. Be safe when meeting dates you find online. Refer to Chapter 3 – Our Clients – for more information on screening customers.

Pay for Advertising

www.backpage.com
$5.00 to $13.00 per posting.

www.cityvibe.com
Formerly an entirely paid advertisement site but due to the large number of free sites, cityvibe created a large free posting section. The paid portion is still the more visible section of cityvibe. Free to $300 per month.

www.eros.com
High end escorts that seek quality not quantity
$95 to $400 per month

www.EscortsCanada.com
$70.00 per month

www.RentBoy.com
Monthly membership about $100

www.PERB.ca
$80 / month for escorts and $129 / month for business owners

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