Branding is often misunderstood. The phrase, ‘creating a brand’ is usually wheeled out when talking about logos, business names and colours. Or it’s assumed that brand building is something only large companies do.
While this isn’t wrong, it’s also not the whole story.
There’s more to branding than visuals and it definitely isn’t reserved for big corps.
Building brand ‘You’
As a self-employed adult industry professional you are your business. Like any other company, your adult business needs to stand out from the pack. Creating a strong personal brand can help.
Having a clear personal brand:
- Builds your authority
- Attracts your ideal customer
- Sets you apart from competitors
- Ensures consistency across every aspect of your business
- Leads to more work and the opportunity for higher earnings.
This seven-step guide is an introduction to personal branding for sex workers. We’ll run through activities and questions designed to get you thinking about brand ‘You’. Successful brand building starts by understanding your business and motivations.
At the end you’ll have the beginnings of your own brand guide.
After the seven steps you’ll find four examples of AdultWork.com members with strong personal brands so you can see it in action.
Let’s get into it.
Step 1: Know your business goal
The first question you should try and answer is: what’s your business goal? Understanding this makes working out the steps needed to get you there, much easier.
Your goal could be financial, fame and publicity, award-driven, or becoming recognized for a niche or specialism.
Once you’ve decided, make a note and refer to this often. Ideally, any marketing or business decision you take should move towards that goal.
Step 2: Understand your business purpose
A successful business has a purpose. This purpose is communicated through all the marketing, messaging and processes. So, the question here is: why are you doing this?
Get a useful answer by thinking about this question from two different angles.
The first is understanding the need for your business. What need is your service and business providing to your audience?
The second way to interpret this question is understanding your own motivations for starting your business. Identifying your ‘why’ makes establishing your tone of voice and how you communicate your messaging much easier. (We’ll talk more about this in step six)
Step 3: What are you offering
Personal branding should help you sell your services. Take some time to consider the services or specialisms you offer.
Successful personal branding means clients will automatically think of you when seeking these services. This is why it’s important to understand what services you offer and how, so your personal brand can embody them.
Step 4: Your target market
Tailor how your personal brand looks and sounds so you attract the right attention.
For example, if couples are your target market your adult business branding will look and sound very different to a dominant sex worker attracting submissive men.
Research your target market and try to get to know their interests. Pay close attention to the way they write and speak as you interact with them.
Step 5: Finding your difference
Competitor analysis shows you what is and isn’t working in your industry and can help you identify what makes you different. It applies to personal branding as well as the way you package and offer your services.
Look at what’s already out there when trying to identify your unique selling point (USP). The question here is: why should someone get what they need from you rather than another adult industry professional?
Answering may not be easy, but it’s necessary to give it some thought. And really, when it comes to personal branding it’s so useful to understand that no one does what you do, the way that you do it. (The next step will help you make sense of that and it’s all about using the one thing you have that your competition doesn’t…)
You can check out the competition in your local area and potentially fill any missing gaps. Remember, never offer anything dangerous or anything you would be uncomfortable with – find your own happy niche!
Step 6: Embrace your personality
Authenticity attracts consumers. It’s more effective than trying to be something or someone you’re not. So, let your personality shine.
A good approach is picking a few of your favourite personality traits you’re happy to share with your fans and audience. You can then exaggerate and amplify these so they become your brand’s defining characteristics.
For example, if you’re an alternative model with a sarcastic sense of humour and a love for weird & wonderful sex toys, you may choose these as your main adult business branding characteristics.
Content creation — so how you write your Profile or Blogs or describe your Movie or Private Gallery titles is how you’ll show your audience your personality.
Why have we said, “pick a few personality traits”? Well, when you are your business it may feel like you have to put your whole self out there. Really, you don’t. It’s natural to want to hold parts of you back, keeping some areas of yourself private and just for you, family and friends.
Step 7: Be flexible
Working on your personal brand is an ongoing exercise. It’s human nature to change: tastes, interests, ambitions and so on. For this reason, your personal branding work and messaging will change too. You don’t need to stick to the rules you’ve written down here strictly. Change them and mould them until it feels right.
Start your personal branding journey
The best way to understand your personal branding is to get stuck in. Open up a Word or Google doc or grab your favourite notebook and work through each of the seven steps.
When you’ve come to some strong conclusions, put your personal branding decisions into practice.
Perhaps that means making small changes to your AdultWork profile, tweaking a few word choices so it sounds more uniquely you. It could involve redoing your social media channels so they champion a particular service you want to be known for.
Remember, branding is never finished. Use what you’ve created here as your foundation and keep this as a live document that evolves with your business.