In this Twitter Space from August 29th, 2023, we talked about selling panties, Clips4sale, photo editing, 2257 compliance, OBS streaming, work/life balance & more.
Blog Post Written By: MelRose Michaels
Melrose Michaels: Hello, everyone. Welcome to this week's Twitter space. I'm Melrose Michaels, an independent adult creator with over a decade of industry experience. I founded sexworkceo.com as a way to document and share what's worked for me in building my adult business so I can make building yours easier. Today's space will be open so creators can come up and ask about challenges or questions they have or are facing in their business, as well as anything you guys are curious to know about my businesses.
I want to foster a culture in these spaces of sharing resources. If there are resources you'd like to share, please do so. It doesn't have to be questions or comments. Also, if there are platforms or strategies you're using or implementing that you're seeing success with, please feel free to share.
So, the first person requesting to speak is Hazel Taylor. Let me add you as a speaker, and we'll kick this off.
Hazel: Thank you so much. I have been trying to find an e-commerce site where I can sell things like panties or custom videos, stuff like that, where the site does not take a huge payout. I have an LLC so that I can get a payment service, but are there any e-commerce sites, such as Shopify or something like that, sex work-friendly or high-risk business-friendly?
Melrose Michaels: That's a great question. In mainstream ones like Shopify or Wix e-commerce, anything that handles media will not be allowed for explicit items. So even if it's just a transaction, even though it's not the facilitation of providing the content, I would still steer clear of those.
Some adult sites will help you facilitate that and take a lower cut. Iwantclips had great custom video functionality back in the day. I am still determining how that still works. Most of my customs are in things like that, and I facilitate via DM on OF or my fan sites. You must be more careful with panties because you can't share shipping information there. What I'll typically do is I'll take payment in the form of a tip via OF for those purchases, and then I'll gather the actual shipping information via a Twitter DM. Historically, I've done that because there's no mainstream site you could just build yourself.
An excellent option could be a product like Modelcentro, where you create your adult website. Their split is 75 to the creator and 35 to them, and you could facilitate all of that in one place. That could be a great option. But it's not going to lower that payout or that cost that's associated with it. OnlyFans will still take 20%. ModelCentro is taking 35%. So, I don't know if we can get the price down just because it's a “high-risk” industry, even though it's not.
Hazel: Thanks. It's just so frustrating that I am able to see all this retail mainstream stuff, and it's not like I'm doing anything illegal or anything like that, and I'm like, I don't want to have to pay 20 percent to someone else to, just to facilitate payment. It's ridiculous.
Melrose Michaels: Ruby's here, and I know she has had a lot of success selling panties, but it was strictly a website for that. So Ruby, if you are available to come up and speak, let me know, and I'll bring you up because you could add value to that. I saw she just released a book about her success in that sector and part of the industry.
RubyLynn: Hello, my friend. I am here, of course. I'll shamelessly plug my book Granny Panties: How I Made a Fortune Selling My Worn Undies. Get it. But in it, there's a site called scentedpansy.com. You pay a monthly fee of ten dollars, and you can list what you want there.
Hazel: Is there any cut or anything like that, or is it just a flat fee of $10.99?
RubyLynn: It's just a flat fee of $10 that you pay. If you pay a year or six months in advance, it's cheaper. But then you negotiate payment with the buyer. For instance, I did Cash App. That was my main one.
Hazel: Can someone pay with a credit card that doesn't have Cash App? Because Cash App isn't sex work-friendly either.
RubyLynn: So there, there isn't. It's just taking the standard payment apps like Venmo, Google Pay, etc.
Melrose Michaels: Thanks so much, you guys. Okay, so I just pulled this website up as well myself. So it looks like it's primarily for panties, but you said you can sell other things, too?
RubyLynn: You can sell clips, Panties, Bras—basically anything.
Melrose Michaels: Interesting. And then it's just the flat fee to host. Is that fee monthly?
Melrose Michaels: Interesting. What a great idea.
RubyLynn: That's where I got my start.
AllforArch: I wanted to add that wishtender.com is also really sex work-friendly these days.
Melrose: I'm familiar with them because they can facilitate not just wishlist things but other things.
AllforArch: Correct. And they don't take much of a cut. It's deposits now, but it's not much of a cut at all.
Mel: Their website says 100 percent payout, so I'm assuming they charge a fee on top, like to the fan, on top of whatever the creator wants. But they're wonderful people. They're very active on social media.
AllforArch: Everything about them I've found has been really helpful and good.
Mel: I love that. Good call. I've also seen Throne as another player in this similar space. I don't know how they compare in terms of fees and stuff directly, but those are both excellent options.
AllforArch: As FinDoms, we like Wishtender because we can have up to a hundred thousand dollars there. And if somebody wants it, they'll buy it. I've seen people do some serious tributes on Wishtender.
Melrose: Thank you for adding value. So, I wanted to talk about clips4sale because we’re getting a lot of questions about that. So one of the ones that had come up, and I experienced this as well, is when you're uploading to Clips4sale inside the creator dashboard or when you're inside the site itself there, whenever you upload, even if it's solo content, you have to select your, yourself as a solo performer and enter in yourself as the solo performer.
And then, when you get to the place where it asks for compliance records, you have to submit a 2257 of just yourself on the content you're uploading. And I wanted to put this out there because many creators are getting stuck at this part. And because we did just talk about clips4sale, a lot of you guys are looking into it.
I also wanted to address that because I got stuck at that part. So, if you are doing solo content, you do have to list yourself as a solo performer and do a 2257 compliance form for yourself on that content. So you'll need one of those 2257 compliances for each piece of content you upload there.
I know that sounds like a hassle. I get that. I feel that in my workload, too. But at the end of the day, they're going above and beyond to meet compliance requirements. And they are a 20-plus-year-old company, so they know what they're doing. So even though it might be a little bit of a struggle to go and fill out these forms for each piece of content, at least you know now you have it documented for each piece of content that you have the compliance for it, even if it's solo content, you can rest assured that when these companies like MasterCard Visa or one of these far-right extremist groups come for these sites that the ones left standing are going to be the ones that go hard with the compliance.
So I hope you guys find peace of mind in that, even though it is inconvenient because that's how I'm also choosing to look at it. I wanted to fill you guys in on that cause I was getting many questions about that.
Anon question: This question from DM says, “Legally, can you write off cuts like the percentages? To OF, clip sites, and payment apps that take your money?”
Melrose: I'm not an accountant or a bookkeeper. I'm not licensed to talk about finances. This is not financial advice. But with my personal experience, my accounting team, and my bookkeeper, you are only liable for the payment that hits your account. After you, your cuts, and your fees are taken out, you're liable for what you receive. So that's how I would answer that question. Again, you need to speak with someone licensed and can advise on finances. But that is how we're currently running my businesses. Also, not just subtracting the cut to the website but also any associated fees, even when you're doing things like shipping panties. That shipping fee is an expense to the business.
So again, tracking that stuff is so important. Ensure you find a financial advisor, an accountant, or a bookkeeper who understands that. Also, you should not be afraid to educate yourself and the team you're building around yourself on how these things work. My bookkeeper had never previously dealt with someone involved in OnlyFans or with Adult. I had to educate her.
Also, each of these people tipping, like how I facilitate revenue on OnlyFans is through tips, content unlocks, etc., you have to educate them on what this landscape looks like. Because they're just not going to know, and without that knowledge gap fit being filled by you, the creator who is experienced and well-versed on this, you might be leaving yourself open to financial liability for stuff that you don't necessarily need to be so Always offer to educate the team.
And I suggest you be the person who leads and offers to open that conversation as well because stigma is real. Many of these people will not outwardly open up and ask for that. So, a little advice regarding how that goes and how that's gone for me.
Anon Question: “I’m finding it very difficult to make some sales on Clips4sale, even though I’m uploading consistently, using proper hashtags. At the moment, I'm losing money instead of making money.”
Melrose: So, I had a C4S store many moons ago. I was under a previous stage name, and I only recently revamped it and opened up a new store under my current name, so uploading is difficult, as we discussed. I got stuck on making sure you list yourself in solo content as a performer. You have the compliance paperwork for yourself to get through that upload process. Still, if you're uploading and tagging consistently, my tip would be, how are you marketing on Twitter, and are you using strategic marketing and advertising to get people from your Twitter to your clips4sale? So, if you are promoting through only auto-tweets, this will be less effective.
Are you promoting actual trailers to the videos? This is going to be much more effective. And then, when you're linking back, are you linking to the content itself on Clips4Sale or your store as a whole? If you're linking back to your store as a whole, that will have a lower conversion rate than if you're linking back to the clip you're promoting.
And if you're promoting it with a saucy and enticing trailer, remember that trailers for content should always walk that line slightly. It should show enough to make them want to click and take an interest, but not too much where they can just get off to the clip and not want to see the whole thing.
It's a little food for thought, but the first approach I'd suggest reviewing is how you're marketing it on your Twitter. That wasn't mentioned specifically. So, avoiding tagging consistently is excellent. You've got to get traffic to your clips4sale looking for your content.
AmbriTaylor: I have been binging your Whorizon episodes and YouTube videos, and it has just been a wealth of information. And even if it's a topic that may not pertain to me, I still listen to it because there's always something new I can learn in each episode. So, thank you for that. So, I just had a couple of questions. They're going to be quick to answer. What do you use to edit your pictures? And then, how do you make your boomerang for your gaming Twitter?
Melrose: So, for editing photos, my current process is I take all my photos in LensBuddy because it's speedy. The auto-timer is nice. I can use my front-facing camera and get like 300 shots. And then also, in the LensBuddy app, you can thumbs up or thumbs down the photo, and then it saves it to a separate folder, like a thumbs up folder, a thumbs down folder. This way, I only save the photos I like because that is a huge waste of space on your iPhone.
So first, I start in LensBuddy to take and capture photo content. Then, once I've saved the ones I like for my phone, I will usually run them through FaceApp. I've created my own FaceApp preset, which is unlike the presets they have, like the crazy ones that make everyone look the same. I'm not bashing those. I have used those before. But I like to do skin smoothing. You can build your own presets. So do the stuff you want to your face and save that as a preset. I have a Melrose preset in FaceApp that I just run quickly.
And then, I take that FaceApp staged photo into Facetune. I don't want an outlet in the back of my content, so I'll take that out of the image. If there's a ceiling fan, a mark on the wall, etc., I edit that out of the photo. If I want to touch up my body, my skin, or edit out a nipple for Instagram or something, all of that will happen on FaceApp.
So, the process is LensBuddy for taking the photos, FaceApp to edit my face, and FaceTune to do anything else. And then I save it. But when I get crazy, I'll go into Lightroom with a Lightroom preset to edit the colors to give it a real wow factor. But that's almost always for an Instagram pic, not for the average adult content that goes up on OnlyFans.
And then for the boomerang for your gaming. So, for boomerangs, it's funny that you bring that up. Cause I get asked that a lot, but all I do is go into Instagram stories, and I'll just do the Boomerang feature in Instagram. Then I'll just take it there and save it to my phone.
Stephanie: First of all, thank you for these spaces. Very informative. I'm sure everyone agrees. I was listening to the whole consent thing you were speaking about before. I just do foot content, but I have the occasional co-star for foot job videos. And one of the biggest things that I've come across is consent. Many of these sites require written consent from everyone starring in the video. And sometimes, you have verbal consent, but people feel uncomfortable giving out ID and things like that. I've never done that as far as getting consent from someone like I'm supposed to, but I did want to mention that Loyalfans doesn't require consent. You shouldn't post anything you don't have consent for anyway, but if you have verbal consent and that person doesn't want to put their name out there, even though it's confidential, Loyalfans worked for me.
Melrose: I'll bring up Melody J in a second because I know she does represent Loyalfans to a capacity, so she will probably have a lot of good value. But I do want to say in terms of the 2257s, every platform in adult, whether it's Loyalfans, Onlyfans, Clips4sale, ManyVids if there's anyone else in the content, legally speaking on a federal level, you have to have a signed 2257 from them. So, even if the platform just asks you to tag them, it is technically illegal, and the creator is the only person who gets called responsible. So that's why platforms may not require it because they won't be held liable should something happen. So that’s just something to consider.
Stephanie: Thank you because I didn't know. I'm over here thinking I'm going to help, but it's good to know.
Melrose: This is a great topic to bring up because I'm sure a lot of small creators aren't aware of this, but the app I use that's been helpful is a 99-cent app made by Larry Walters and their foundation called Quick 2257, and you download it to your phone, and it takes you through all the steps of submitting your ID photos and all of that. And then, at the end, you email it to the other person in the content so they have their copy as well. And when you email it, you can print it and upload it or save it to these sites. I suggest you have it.
When I'm creating with other creators, we switch phones if we both have the app. I do theirs, they do mine, we send it to each other, and then boom, we're good with compliance. And then, if you want to take it a step further, there is a correct way to store your files due to the regulations. What I've done is I've opened up a Protonmail account because it's encrypted, and I have an email that's like melrose2257 @ proton.me, and every time I do a Quck2257, I send it to that specific email that's encrypted for safekeeping. I use that email for nothing else, only my 2257 files. This way, I have all my 2257s on file in that email. I can access them from anywhere at any moment. I recommend reading the interview we did with Corey Silverstein from Silverstein Legal about Ensuring Legal Safety in Content Collaborations for more information.
Melody Jai: Yes, I'm glad that this topic was brought up about Loyalfans. It is a misconception that we don't want the paperwork because we don't ask for it upfront. We expect you to have your own paperwork, and whenever we get a DMCA takedown notice or something like that, we contact you and say, “Hey, we need the paperwork,” and we expect you to have the paperwork.
It's not that we don't want you to have any paperwork, or you can get away with that. It's just that we expect you to be adults and to have it. That's how we're running it right now. Now, in the future, I don't know if that will change or not, but that's how we're doing it now.
So I am glad that was brought up, and it is easier. You don't have to tag the other creator in there on Loyalfans, but definitely have your paperwork in the background. I wanted to let you guys know.
Melrose: So, Onlyfans requires you to @ tag a creator in the content. But if there was ever a discrepancy, if the creator ever said, “Hey, I want this taken down,” or if Mastercard Visa ever added pressure or the government added pressure to Onlyfans, they would send out a message to you saying, “Hey, you need to submit the 2257 on this”, and if you don't have it and can't produce it, you are held responsible.
That's the biggest thing I want everyone to take away from this. Right now, the policy and legislation hold creators ultimately responsible for all of this. So you must cover your bases that you’re getting 2257s. You have the up-to-date current ID pictures that are valid and not expired. And as soon as. Those IDs are out of date. You technically can no longer use that content unless you update it. I want this to be known because I think it's a massive misunderstanding that it’s intentional. It's intended to keep everyone unclear on how this works because we're the scapegoats for when the crackdown eventually comes.
Use the Quick2257 app. It's what I use whenever I visit a content creation house. This is what I encourage people to use. If you are someone who attends content houses or has in the past, ensure you come with this on your phone. Most content houses are not supplying 2257 forms. They're not providing photo releases; also, the Quick2257 app has a photo release option. So consider these things when going into these spaces to make collaborative content. Suppose you're filming with a partner or someone you trust and counting on them always to allow you to sell that content. In that case, one of the biggest things that go south is that relationships end and sour, and now you're out of an entire library's worth of content.
For this reason, it’s essential.
Ultimately, you're building a business. I want you to remember that the business you're building is essentially your content library. So, you have to protect the usability of that library of content at all costs. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a creator was in my premium Snapchat era. I was filming with many other creators; everything was for trade and collaboration. I can no longer use any of that content. I was putting up a video a day back then on Snapchat, and that's hundreds of videos I can't use anymore because no 2257s were happening, especially at these collaborative creator houses. So, please learn from my mistakes, especially if you're new. You can do this the right way from the beginning.
Anon Question: How do models make gifs for Onlyfans? I see many models making their teaser clips, turning them into gifs. How do you do that?
Melrose: Most apps I tried looking for don't make them. So, I have been posting GIFs sparingly on OnlyFans right now. I have in the past, but one of the ways I make GIFs is similar to what I described about gaming. I will make a boomerang as a story on Instagram, then I will save it to my phone, and then I'll post that to OnlyFans, and it'll just be a boomerang. It'll work like a GIF.
If you're talking about teasers, one of the ways you can do that is if you're in the CapCut app specifically, you can shorten the video to the section you want as your teaser. Then you can just duplicate it and duplicate it, so it's a video that plays as a GIF. And if you want it to bounce back, like play forward once or play in reverse once, you can facilitate that in CapCut.
There are entire apps that turn videos into GIFs. GIF Maker app is one of these in the past. If you just search on your App Store or Play Store, there are many others. A GIF Maker app or a GIF app, you're going to find tons of them that come up. I would start there and create them that way.
Anon Question: Do you have any tips on how to use OBS stream on multiple platforms at once to maximize earnings?
Melrose: The platform I suggest creators use for multi-streaming is not OBS but similar to OBS. It's a program called Restream. Technically, streaming adult content violates their Terms of Service, so do this at your own risk. But it works, and I know many major players and companies that do this without issue. That's why I've done it with no issue before. But you can set up Restream as one OBS stream that goes to many destinations. So you can be streaming to many platforms simultaneously from one single stream. So again, that platform is called Restream. I'd have to make a full video on how to set it up. But this is a good option if you are on a cam platform that allows multi-streaming.
And then, even if you want to do it to your free Onlyfans page, you can do it once (like one stream); this would be a great option. But remember that many of these cam sites now allow for mobile or cell phone streaming. So, do one stream off your phone and one off your laptop if this isn’t too complex. I know a lot of players who see a lot of success with that, too. And if you are going to use a cell phone stream and a laptop stream (not using a program like Restream), a great way to do that where it doesn't feel complicated to the viewer or the fans watching is to gamify the streams against each other.
Say that you have people watching on your free page, and you want to give only a little because the free page users are not subscribers. Then you have people watching from your VIP page who pay a subscription and are seeing this stream, so you want them to see more stuff. You could set a goal for X tip amount for the free page stream and then a smaller goal for the paid stream because they're already paying subscribers, and you could make them raise whoever gets the tip goal first gets the show. And you can play them against each other to gamify both streams and encourage monetization and revenue flow.
You can use Restream and do one stream to multiple destinations, but you can also stream off a phone and a laptop. It's going to take more bandwidth. You have to have good internet for that. And then, you can gamify both streams against each other in different ways—just a thought.
CreatorsSpiceyT: I had a question that might be different. So I am the same as you. I have found it so much more fulfilling to be helping creators, and I'm beginning to mentor and appreciate it. How on earth do you balance between this huge community you've built with SexWork CEO and creation?
Melrose: I don't know that I have a healthy balance in any aspect of my life if I'm being honest. It's in my nature to do everything to extremes. So take this with a grain of salt because everyone will be different. My advice can come across as the wrong solution for many people who think it will lead to burnout and make you insane because it's what works for me, and that's all I can speak to.
But I'm a full-time creator as well. I create a brand new video on my OnlyFans feed every single day. So, I also put out an extreme amount of content on the adult side. And that's just for the strategy that I like to use, but the way that this works for me, and the only reason it does work for me, is because I've built out the support to make it work for me.
So, on the Melrose side, I have two personal assistants who help me facilitate scheduling content and writing the copy for my posts, which I then approve. They also help me with my deliverables. If a fan buys panties, they ensure it gets created and delivered. If a fan wants a custom video, they track it and put it into my daily tasks to make sure I get that custom created and sent.
So, I have a team on the Melrose side of two, and on the Sex Work CEO side, I have a team of one, Brynn, who's essentially a team of ten, because she's so freaking busy. So, I think the answer to “How to do more things” is to leverage other people's time, and unfortunately, to get to that point, you need the resources.
It becomes a balancing act of growing your adult, especially for this specific space. Being an adult creator wanting to get into any mentorship or coaching, you have to ensure that your adult creator business is built large enough to sustain that some of those resources go into building your next business, which would be the consulting side.
The two-part answer that I would give is to build up your adult stuff big enough to help fund cash flow, resource-wise, the mentorship stuff. Doing that lends your new business venture of being a consultant more legitimacy.
Have a question about my business or yours? DM or tag @sexworkceo on Twitter and Instagram, or send us an email. We're always here to help; it's what we love to do! Want to be part of the conversation? Join us Tuesdays at 1 pm CST on Twitter where we discuss new topics weekly to help take your adult content creator business to the next level. Unable to make it live? No problem! You can listen to all our past Twitter Spaces here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the original Twitter Space are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Any content provided by our bloggers or guest speakers is their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, anyone, or anything.