Being part of the Pornographic industry in the late 90s was very lucrative for models and is now known as the good old days of porn, the years of DVDs and contract girls made the industry a pure money-making industry full of glamour, smiles and bulging bank accounts. Female models made 350 pounds per shoot in the UK and $10,000 on average per week in the USA.
Fast forward to 2017 and your be lucky to make enough money to pay your rent by producing or appearing in porn movies, unless of course you’re a genius at marketing and can control and grow your own brand in today’s competitive market. Porn websites now offering free porn downloads are the only porn sites gaining mass traffic, in fact it is said that out of every 10,000 clips only 1 is paid for. Pornography is also the only industry with no pay rise for performers in over 20 years which means models are working for significantly lower pay these days which means they need to look at themselves as a business and not a model.
So how do you make money in porn now?
The answer is you probably will not unless you are working for major IT companies like Porn Hub who are currently celebrating their first decade of data capturing people’s information and are now ranked only a few slots behind Netflix. Anyone who thinks they can now just enter into the porn industry and make enough to buy a property empire are in for a shock, not even performers at the top of their game are making anywhere near as much money as the good old days of porn.
With this in mind a model needs to think differently and make friends with their inner media whore, the one that can hide any sign of self loathing and is able to smile on demand for their fans, something I can assure you cannot be easy on a long-term basis. Gone are the days of it being just a job, it is now a lifestyle and one you have to be in charge of before it takes over your whole existence.
The best way to fix this is to understand you are a brand, work with it and understand how marketing works. I was fortunate in my days where we had box covers and marketing teams that sold our DVDs and paid us exceptional money to be part of their brand. Models these days need to work hard and become a reputable brand that people want to invest in. Think constant social media marketing and branding just like any mainstream company which operates on-line, in fact as many mainstream companies are hijacking the word porn for their own brands (Marks and Spencer use food porn, Evening Standard use property porn and several car manufacturers use the words car porn) then you should consider using their own brand catch phrases such as L’oreal “Because I’m worth it”. I’m serious if you use something that is already high street recognised in every household, then you can grab their audience. Trust me when I say mainstream companies are now watching how many social media followers Porn Stars have so they can market their brands through them.
Cross marketing is massive and on the rise between mainstream companies and porn stars and I advise adult models to look at cross marketing with a fashion brand or product aimed towards their fan base, write-up a marketing and strategic plan to help expand their business, which in turn gets you widely marketed to their audience too. Yes, this takes hard works but its worth it.
Unfortunately a big problem is many of today’s Porn stars are choosing the route of escorting to make money and this results in mainstream companies choosing not to work with them which is rightly so. The way to avoid this pitfall is to remember you’re a brand and limit yourself to quality of work and not quantity of work. If a model wants to become top of the industry they need to market themselves as a traditional Porn Star, one that has boundaries and separates work to their private life, sets thier own work boundaries and sticks to them, stays away from drugs, escorting and works out to stay in top shape, with this and hard work they will get their own lucrative brand before others. If they need advise they should approach well known pre internet porn stars and ask them how they made it big and what it really took to be a pornstar back then.
The downside of todays industry is it’s a lifestyle not just a job and this can lead to long-term issues and this is far more important to think of than money.
Written by Lianne Young