Imagine you’ve blocked out your entire Friday for a booking. You’ve booked a restaurant and watched a million movie previews to select the perfect film for after lunch. And you’ve lined up a killer hotel suite for the night.
And then, he cancels.
It’s only a few days until the date, and you’ve already asked for leave at your day job. Now you’ve got the whole day free, and you could really do with the cash. What are you going to do?
Well, imagine if you had a way to directly contact potential clients who were ALREADY INTERESTED in booking a date with you… A tap of work that you could turn on when you needed it. Imagine if you could reach out to potential clients with a special offer for a lunch and movie date that Friday – a win for them AND your Friday would no longer go to waste!
Well, it doesn’t have to be a fantasy.
Email lists are ALL the buzz, and it’s a GREAT way to have direct contact with potential and established clients.
I know what you’re thinking: What about social media? Isn’t THAT the way should be getting in contact with clients?
Social media is definitely an important marketing tool, don’t get me wrong. But think of it like this: when you post on social media, it’s like standing on the side of a busy road and shouting at the cars as they go by. Sure, some people might wind down their window and try to catch what you’re saying as they speed by on their way to do something else, but most of the time your message will get drowned out in the noise of the traffic.
In contrast, sending an email to a curated list of interested potential clients is like sitting down for a cozy dinner with some close friends and chatting over a glass of wine. You KNOW these people already care about your message – after all, they signed up, and they are here, listening to your every word!
Now, what is a more effective way to fill that empty Friday hotel suite: yelling into the traffic on a busy road and hoping someone hears you or sitting down with a glass of wine with people who are already interested in you?
I know which I’d pick.
And we haven’t even talked about the discrimination factor of social media. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that sex workers get kicked off social media platforms ALL THE TIME. If you are solely relying on your social media following for marketing and income, you’re going to be in big trouble if you get de-platformed. So, now’s the time to BUILD THAT EMAIL LIST!
Obviously, you need a platform to store the email address that you’re going to collect. There are endless platforms that offer email list services, but my advice is to keep it simple and pick a platform that you find easy to use. I use Flodesk – it’s simple and allows you to create beautiful, branded emails. I have also found Flodesk to be openly sex worker friendly when I have contacted their support department with questions. Now, you’ll want to make sure you download the list of your subscribers every now and then so that you have a copy in case you do ever get kicked off your platform of choice.
Now that you have a way to collect email addresses let’s start growing your list! Don’t make the mistake of simply adding all your email contacts to your newsletter list without first getting permission. Why? It’s spammy, annoying, you’ll lose clients, AND it’s illegal.
Instead, think about what you could offer someone as an incentive to sign up. Could you offer an exclusive date opportunity? A photo set that isn’t on your website? Or even just an opportunity to get to know you in a way that you don’t offer on your public social media (e.g., a story about your life sent to their inbox each week)?
You likely already have a list of clients’ email addresses from people you have seen in the past. These clients would be a great addition to your list. Write them a text or email (sent at an appropriate time, with discretion) that shares how you’d love to keep them up to date and give them the option to click the link and join your list. Think of this as an invitation and NOT a sales pitch. If you don’t want to text or email clients who appreciate discretion, mention it during in-person dates – they might have an alternate email address they’d like to sign up with.
How do you get people to excitedly sign up? Make it EASY for them, so they are eager for what’s next. Flodesk (and other email marketing providers) allows you to create a very simple sign-up form that you can share on social media or your website.
Places you could share your email sign up form: your ‘about me’ page, your blog posts, social media posts and your email signature. You could also include a link if you are unavailable for a booking – let them the client know that it’s an easy way to keep up-to-date with your availability.
Start small, get things started and start connecting with those clients!