The online diary of a gay courtesan.

Part 5 of 13: Advertising & Correspondence

Return to “Establishing a Career in Adult Entertainment: Index”

Advertising is the first public expression of the brand you have developed. Make sure that your advertising campaigns are aligned with your branding. Advertising is a fairly simple process for most modalities of Adult Entertainment, so I will treat escorting/massage separately from “all others.” Since it’s more simplified, let’s go with the “all others” category first.

All Others

The strategies that you generally have to employ for most forms of modeling and live performance are “direct contact” along with “directory listings.” Direct contact is the process of taking the initiative to begin emailing, phoning, or personally approaching a club/venue, calling center, video house, chat site, or some other provider. Directory listings put you on a site where people can approach you instead. Examples of directories include agencies, ModelMayhem (though this site is notorious for being full of hacks and timewasters), and other social networking sites where users post (semi-)nude photos of themselves.

Prior to directly contacting anyone, you should have the following: A professional name, a persona that embodies your brand, and a relatively clear sense of comfort/confidence. Be certain you are not approaching the industry from a position of desperation by taking the time to educate yourself and to give consideration to all the pros and cons. It is also helpful for you to have professional photos (both hi- and low-rez copies, hi-rez for printed publicity use and low-rez for distribution on the web), though that is not required in most instances. If you are going into voice and/or phone modeling, it can be helpful to have selected a photo that represents your character. Note that many of the video houses prefer well-lit, amateur photos, so that they can see YOU (not a Photoshopped version of you).

When you place yourself on a directory you will need your professional name, your photos, a description of what you are interested in doing, and the means by which you can be contacted. Check your messages daily, and be prompt in your replies. If you are not a natural writer, speak with your own voice. You will not impress anyone by trying to speak/write in an unnatural manner. Use the best grammar and spelling you can (ask for help, if you need it), maintain a professional attitude, and use the dialogue to convey your brand.

Escorts/Masseurs

This is far more complex, because the degree to which you will be interacting with clients is much more personal. I am going to discuss the following: Pictures, agencies/brothels, ad content, personal sites, correspondence, specific ad vendors, reviews, and mailing lists.

Pictures

Point of fact: Ads with face pics fare better. Clients want to know as much about you as possible, and seeing your eyes helps connect to who you are. If you are not comfortable with showing your face in your ad, then consider these options: 1) Try a different career, 2) Keep your face pics handy, so they can be shared after you have established a rapport with a potential client. One way or another, the overwhelming majority of clients will need to see your face clearly prior to meeting with you. Beyond that, it is best to use clear, well-lit, candid photos that give the client a sense of who you are. Look at the Gallery on this blog to understand how I use photos. If your photos are blurry, secretive, or in some way low-quality, people may presume you are shady or untrustworthy. Depending on your branding, your photos may show more or less skin; however, the more a client knows about you, the more likely he is to connect with you. Your photos don’t have to look anything like mine, but they do need to do what my photos do for me. Look at ads. Study the images. Which ones make you want to contact the escort in question? You want photos like those.

Agencies/Brothels

If you choose to work through an agency it will be the equivalent of placing yourself on a directory listing. Your agency will guide you through the process of establishing a successful profile. This is a good option for escorts/masseurs who are seeking part time work and who do not wish to do the leg work of managing their own businesses; however, you will pay a substantial portion of your fee to your handler. Most escorts/masseurs opt to manage themselves for this reason, and because agencies use escorts/masseurs as cash cows – most agencies do not have your best interests at heart. You are free to make your own choices, but I strongly suggest you take care of your affairs yourself (or find a close, trusted confidante/friend/collaborator to do the advertising/correspondence/bookings for you).

Ad Content

What you say and how you say it goes a VERY LONG WAY in defining you as a person. I cannot stress enough how important ad content is. Even if your pictures are amazing, your words can do a great deal to either support or undermine your business. Choose a tone and style that is aligned with your branding; however, you absolutely must pay attention to the manner in which you speak/write. If a client’s first impression of you is that you are poorly spoken he will automatically (in many cases) discount you as a person. Spell check! GOD! USE SPELL CHECK! Have someone proofread your ad content. Get the input of other escorts/masseurs. Hone your message, so that potential clients can learn as much about you as possible in advance of contacting you.

You absolutely MUST learn the art of putting people at ease, and the first impression you create is paramount to your success. Read escort/masseur ads. Imagine yourself as a client: Would you want to meet the person in the ad you’re reading? Why or why not? How does the ad content contribute to your like or dislike for this person whom you haven’t ever met. This is how clients will read YOUR ad, so you want to make sure they have a sense of confidence that you are worth risking a connection. A link to my ad is located here on my blog. Feel free to peruse it. Your ad content doesn’t need to be like mine, but it does need to do for you what mine does for me. Remember this: Do not say what you think people want to hear. Say what is true to you and your brand, so that you attract the clients who want what you have to offer.

Personal Sites

These include blogs, fan sites, and other web content focusing on you as an individual. Many video models (and even some phone models) maintain a web presence as well. This is an old tactic: The fan club is an opportunity for your “fans” to learn more about you. It helps them to strengthen their sense of connection to you, and these types of sites help to reinforce your brand. My blog is one example. There are thousands of sites that do this (to varying degrees of success) for the entertainers at the focus of each individual site. You don’t have to maintain a personal site, but whether you do or not, consider maintaining some other form of Social Networking connection (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Be certain that your professional web content is separated from your personal web content: Do not cross email, phone numbers, or other forms of personal information or you increase your risk of being stalked. Create separate email addresses and phone numbers for your professional life, and do not cross-pollinate (e.g. keep your personal friends on Facebook separate from your professional contacts on Facebook). Even if you don’t care about the intermixing, your clients/fans and family/friends probably prefer the insulation away from each other.

A word of caution: Know that everything you do and say on the internet is available to everyone at all times immediately. Say and do only that which you will not regret later. Do not comment with much frequency on the types of people you find attractive, or else you risk telling your clients indirectly that you are not interested in them if they do not match your preferences. I also suggest avoiding politics, since you can alienate potential clients unknowingly. Whether you are liberal, conservative, independent, or disinterested is not, in most cases, something you want your clients to know at first. People who find you attractive otherwise may decide against supporting you as an expression of their dislike for your politics. Keep your opinions about Obama, Bush, Clinton, Limbaugh, Lieberman, and Palin to yourself. Use discretion in who you follow on Twitter as well, since following/associating with political personalities gives your views away. Unless it is part of your branding, your aesthetic preferences and politics are not generally of interest to your clients.

Correspondence

I cannot stress enough that you should not put your phone number in your ad. Your phone number gives you instant access, and that is not necessarily the blessing you might presume. Correspond via email until you develop a rapport with your potential client. To save time and to maintain consistency, I suggest you write drafts of emails that can be copied and pasted. You can personalize each reply to address specific questions; however, most initial queries go something along these lines: “Hey! I liked your ad, and I want to know more about setting up an appointment with you.” Such a generalized query requires a lot of information, and you can save many back-and-forth, repetitive conversations by simply using your standardized initial response. Once your client replies you must go off script to address the specific details. In this way you can quickly exchange the information you need. This is the reply I send to potential clients the first time they contact me. I suggest you reword it to match your branding:

“Hi there, NAME!

Thanks  very much for your interest in scheduling  an appointment! I am very flattered. I look forward to getting to know a  bit more about you. 🙂 I am always very discreet, and your privacy is  of the utmost importance.

I find I have the best connection (and  that I am able to provide the best experience) when I know about your  interests and expectations. Discussing this in advance will help us to  avoid surprises and disappointments. To ensure we’re compatible, please  let me know these details at your earliest convenience.

About me:  I am very good at being 24 years old (having been this age since I was  22 years old 12 years ago). 😉 I measure in at 5’8″, 145 lbs, and I  have medium brown hair and green eyes. I have a defined, muscular build;  six-pack abs; bubble butt; and strong legs. I have a 29″ waist, 38″  chest, 14″ biceps, and a 7” cut cock. I generally sport a very short,  manicured beard, but my body hair is light and tidy. I am HIV-negative,  drug/disease free, and always safe and clean (You MUST be HIV-negative,  drug/disease free, safe and clean as well). I am a grounded,  responsible, personable, educated, funny, reliable, and athletic guy. If  you are looking for an outstanding companion, you have come to the  right place: I will make you feel like you are the center of attention.

If you ever need to look up my general information, please review www.RentBoy.com/DevonHunter (private gallery password: just4u). You can see a video interview of  me, a filmography of my adult videos, a gallery of my photos, my travel  itinerary, as well as exemplary reviews of my professional services by  visiting www.DevonHunter.info. A fee schedule (including discounted hourly rates) is available at www.DevonHunter.info/Bookings (password: just4u).

** My services are compensated for my time only. **

I hope to hear from you soon,

Devon”

My attitude is that if someone can’t get through that email and reply with something substantial he isn’t the type of client I want. You may disagree. But come up with a script that sets the tone and gets the information you want. After you have worked through the details, I suggest a separate scripted confirmation email, which is also a time saver. I use the following, which I BCC to myself and keep in a folder called “Appointments.” After an appointment I refile the email to the appropriate city’s folder. I use the subject line in this format, so that the emails stay in appointment order when organized by alphabetical order in the subject column:

“Devon: 00/00/00, 00:00 – 00:00 (City)

Thanks for confirming your appointment with me! 🙂 I’m glad we were able to find a time to come together, and I look forward to having a good time with you. You are on my calendar for 00/00/00 at 00:00 – 00:00. This is an in/out-call for a X-hour session ($X). Again, I look forward to meeting with you. I will be staying at the HOTEL. I will give you my room number once you have arrived in the lobby, since I won’t know it until I check in. Please consider giving me a phone number, if you haven’t already, in case there are complications on my end that I need to communicate to you. I respect your privacy, and will not abuse your information.

I hope you are well,

Devon

If you could please call/text an hour or two before your appointment, I would appreciate the final confirmation. 🙂 “

Notice: I do not generally give my phone number to a new client until we have set up an actual appointment. I rarely have anyone complain about this. Also, do not give out your room number until the client has arrived in the lobby, or you risk that person showing up before you are ready to entertain him. You are in charge. Set the tone from the beginning. Also, in the subject line of the confirmation, use army time, so that the appointments on a single day stay in correct order. Otherwise your 7 pm will be ordered before your 11 am (e.g. Devon: 06/06/11, 19:00 – 21:00 {New York City}). Just a practical note for your organization purposes. You should keep these types of emails for confirmations in case your calendar is lost/stolen, or (if you have the same problem I do) your calendar gets messed up when you go to different time zones. This way you can always go to your email and see what’s what.

Specific Ad Vendors

I suggest you maintain a constant ad presence on Rentboy in your home city. This gives you a consistent online presence and a steady link to use in your correspondence. Let it auto-renew each month. I suggest placing your travel ads 10-14 days in advance of your arrival in a city (14-21 days if you have never visited the place before).

Each escort will tell you something different, but one rule is always the same: AVOID CRAIGS LIST. DO NOT USE IT FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. Sex workers have died advertising there, and it’s rife with police monitoring. Do not use Craigs List at all! The adult section was removed after a woman in Boston was murdered by her client in 2009. People still try to find ways to use the free listings there, and you absolutely should never do so!

Rentboy.com is the largest site. The rates vary, depending on the city, duration of your ad, and the level of preference you want (Diamond, platinum, gold, standard). This preference level affects how close to the top your ad appears. It is utterly unnecessary in cities that have fewer than 20 escorts/masseurs listed, since Rentboy places 20 ads per page. Do not waste your money paying for multiple listings and/or +Gold preference until a city gets past one page. I have never paid for Gold, Platinum, or Diamond, and I generally do just fine. I have found that the clients from Rentboy are friendly, open, and generally reliable. This is the only site on which I advertise anymore. Rentboy tends to be great for ads in cities on the east or west coasts.

Rentmen.com is a distant second place (for the American market). There are other sites that focus on Europe other parts of the world, but I don’t travel internationally, so you will have to test those on your own. Rentmen is interesting, because you can post video content there. (something you cannot do at Rentboy). Different escorts will give various accounts of their experience there, but I have never gotten much traffic from my ads on Rentmen. They have a good idea, and I’m sure many escorts do well there, but I do not maintain an ad there any longer. Try them – the chemistry of your ad may work on that site. Mine doesn’t, so I don’t bother with it.

MenForRentNow (M4RN) is a hot, shitty mess. Although a few escorts will tell you they do well there (especially for locales in the center/midwest of the USA), the general reputation the site has is this: The escort ads are never current, the clients who contact you from the site have a HIGH frequency of no-showing or being shady, and the “reviews” are not moderated by a third party. I do not suggest wasting your money there. I can count on one hand the number of clients from this site that have followed through as expected and been pleasant. If you place only one ad, use Rentboy. If you want a couple ads, use Rentboy and Rentmen. If you more than that find some other site than M4RN.

Reviews

This is the most important advertising you can possibly get: Word of Mouth. When you have an excellent appointment with a client, ask for a review. You can find my reviews by clicking the link under “Devon at Work.” Daddy’s Reviews is the best third party system I know of for confirming you are who you say you are. Your clients will feel much better about meeting you if they know other people have good reports to offer. Especially when you are new and unknown, try to get at least one-three reviews in the first couple months. That, more than anything else, will help establish you as an authentic professional.

Mailing Lists

When you hear from a new contact, put that contact in your saved address lists. Organize them in some manner that is useful to you. I prefer to categorize contacts by city. Approximately two weeks before I am going to travel to a particular area, I send emails to the people who have contacted me from that area. Again, I use a single scripted email. IMPORTANT: Send the email to yourself as the recipient, and put the addresses for your contacts in the BCC field, so that no one can see anyone else’s email information. This is an important point of discretion, since many contacts write to you from their personal accounts. DO NOT ALLOW THIS INFORMATION TO BE SEEN.

“Devon: Upcoming CITY trip (00/00/00 – 00/00/00)

Hey there,

I will be in CITY soon, and I wanted to see if you are around and would like to connect. I will be available from 00/00/00 – 00/00/00. Let me now if you are interested!

I hope you are well,

Devon
www.devonhunter.info
www.rentboy.com/devonhunter”

Keep all correspondence!! KEEP ALL OF IT. PERIOD. File your correspondence in a way that makes sense to you. Again, I have folders for each city I visit, and I file everything according to region. When you send out your travel notice, put only 20 or so recipients in the BCC field, so that you lower your chance of being treated as spam by the recipients’ mail servers. When you get Mailer Daemon replies, rather than deleting the addresses, re-categorize them into a “ZZZ-no reply” category in your contact lists. Not all delivery failures result from bad/broken emails – some systems just get hiccups. I also use “ZZZ-no reply” as a place to put email addresses for people who want to be removed from my list, for people who are no longer welcome to book my time, and for people who are in any way problematic. This way, if someone ever shows up again in the future, rather than having no information about them, I see I have purposefully placed them on a no-call list. This is helpful for keeping track of red flags.

6 comments

1 gcursor { 06.06.11 at 4:15 pm }

This is very very nice Devon but you never mentioned how people should strive to be “nice” to everybody especially on the internet. I mean either on TWITTER, FACEBOOK, forums or whatever else..people are judged quite frequently with what they say. A simple innocent posting could find its way to a producer and have dire consequences. As in all things, respect and understanding are things that you should use judiciously when posting on the internet.

2 Devon { 06.06.11 at 6:30 pm }

Hey G,

You are absolutely correct; however, I presumed I addressed that (albeit indirectly) when I wrote the following:
.
“What you say and how you say it goes a VERY LONG WAY in defining you as a person. I cannot stress enough how important ad content is. Even if your pictures are amazing, your words can do a great deal to either support or undermine your business.”
.
“You absolutely MUST learn the art of putting people at ease, and the first impression you create is paramount to your success.”
.
“A word of caution: Know that everything you do and say on the internet is available to everyone at all times immediately. Say and do only that which you will not regret later.”

3 Michael Australia { 06.11.11 at 11:10 am }

“You absolutely MUST learn the art of putting people at ease, and the first impression you create is paramount to your success.”

That is not part of Escort and Massage life in Australia, they are rude here and they let you know in no uncertain terms they don’t like you and are disgusted at your looks, and I am not the only one that says that.

4 Michael Australia { 06.22.11 at 5:59 pm }

Hi Devon

Can I ask a favour when you get back online in the future?

Recently I paid an escort for a massage. I had seen him before in 2008 but did not know it was him again.

To say he did not want to do the job was obvious.

I thought it was me but now I have found out he does it to others, including those that are gym bodied.

My point is, if the escort/massuer does not want to do you why should we as clients pay for poor service? Obviously you cannot regulate that unlike other things in life, but honestly, if some man turned up and you really didn’t want to have sex with him despite the pay, going to a beautiful place to me is rude, why not just go sorry not my type get lost fatty/oldie whatever, I would rather be told off and leave and save money than have someone not present and even making faces or closing eyes during the act.

What happened to client service???

Hope you are well will check in the future for you or others’ views on this much appreciated but I am sick of paying for sub standard service and I’m sorry but dishonesty – if an escort is Asian, I should have the choice, rascist or not in others’ views, to say yes or no.

Just your views on it anyway.

Thanks

5 Michael Australia { 06.26.11 at 2:00 am }

Hello Devon

Since that post I have had a think and chatted to a couple people. Their claim is that Australia having such a smaller population means escorts can be choosey. No studies have been done lol but, at least I can just continue to find someone who won’t be that way.

Oh and well done for your stuff with Lucas Knowles, I am not a fan of the toy bit but it is a great scene.

6 Jon { 07.17.11 at 7:53 pm }

As an occasional client of escorts (including you, one very fun time), your advice is spot on, and it would be nice if more escorts followed it. Nice for clients, and nice for escorts. It’s good for everybody if the client has a good sense of who the escort is and what they like/want — escorts will get more business from guys who are interested in their brand, and clients will learn about more escorts that might interest them.

Two other suggestions I would add. First, your ad should give an indication of price. I don’t think there’s been a single time I’ve contacted an escort whose ad read “ask me” instead of giving their price. When I call an escort I’ve never met before, I don’t want to negotiate over price — it’s already awkward enough to have that conversation about when and where and what.

My other suggestion is that while it’s great to ask a client for a review if you think they’ve had a good time, don’t ask them to send you the review in advance. I’ve had a couple of escorts ask me to send me a draft review for “editing,” and it’s just a little bit creepy. Needless to say, those guys didn’t get reviews.

(Personally, I greatly prefer ads that give a phone number, but that’s mostly because a number of guys I’ve contacted via Rentboy.com’s e-mail function have later told me that they didn’t get my e-mails.)

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