Blog Post Written By: Melrose Michaels
In today's world, more and more adult creators are turning their content hustles into lucrative, multi-faceted business ventures. But how do you evolve your side hustle into a scalable, thriving enterprise? In this blog, we're going to delve into a few strategies that can transform your adult content hustle into a full-scale operation.
Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
First and foremost, identify your unique value proposition or (UVP). This is what sets what you do as a creator, apart from the competition. It's essential to understand the value you provide to your customers and be able to articulate it clearly. Your UVP is the cornerstone of your brand and will guide all your business decisions.
Let me explain in simpler terms, why you need a Unique Value Proposition...
First off, for Differentiation. With so many creators vying for attention, having a unique offer can help you differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, as we already mentioned. It gives you an edge in the market and makes you more memorable to your target audience.
Second, for Increased Value. By offering something that others don't, you can increase the perceived value of your work. This can lead to higher sales and increased customer loyalty. For example, if your offer includes something time-intensive like cosplay, you can charge a higher price because you’re letting the subscriber know your content has to do with cosplay which is costly and higher production. Yet without including these unique words and expectations in your offer, your subscription price won’t feel justified to the user and could be costing you sales.
And finally, for Brand Building. A unique offer is a great way to build your brand and establish yourself in your niche. It shows that you're innovative and willing to go above and beyond to provide value to your customers. Using cosplay as an example again, it’s important to mention cosplay in your offer so when users or fans think of you as a creator, they think of the brand and content associated with you.
So with that in mind, how do you make a UVP (Unique Value Proposition) or offer?
First, you’ll need to Understand Your Target Market. It's surprising how many content creators, whether established or starting out, haven't taken the time to consider their audience. Invest time in analyzing your data, interactions, and brand vision to determine your unique target audience. This will guide the way you communicate with them. To offer a personalized experience that resonates with your target market, you must comprehend their needs and wants. What challenges do they face? (For instance, a large portion of your audience seeking sexual advice because your brand openly discusses sex education). What do they prioritize? (Perhaps your audience values humor, and they keep coming back to your content because of the laughter you bring). What do they aim to attain? (While the answer might be obvious, they may also be seeking connections, do you offer that? Or are you running a no DM/or no PPV page that doesn’t provide any connection or access to you? Advertise it with phrases such as 'digital girlfriend experience' etc.). With a clear understanding of your target market, you can tailor your offer to meet their specific needs and provide real value.
Then, you’ll need to Offer Something Unique. Think outside the box and come up with an offer that sets you apart from others in your niche. It could be a special product, service, or experience that you provide. It could be a new approach to solving a problem or delivering value. Whatever it is, make sure it's unique and offers real value to your target audience.
With my unique value proposition on my Onlyfans, you’re going to get new content daily, every day, plus access to me in DMs. Because of that offer, and the immense amount of content I put out, the price point of my subscription feels justified to my subscribers. What problem am I solving? Well, most people’s favorite creators only put out between 2 & 4 full-length new explicit videos each month. I solve that problem by providing SO MUCH CONTENT on a consistent basis, my subscribers know they can count on me. They even know what time videos will drop on the page & anticipate as much.
Next, you’ll want to Create a Sense of Urgency. To drive sales and encourage people to take action, create a sense of urgency around your offer. For example, you could limit the number of available slots, offer a time-sensitive discount, or create a limited-time offer. The same approach should be taken with PPVs or interactions you're having on your fan site in DMs, using copy that reads “This message self-destructs in 24hrs, so get it while you can” or something similar. To add urgency to a subscription, limit the amount of time in which a fan can claim your sale offer.
And finally, you’ll work on Fine-tuning Your Offer. To ensure the success of your unique offer, it's crucial to test it and gather feedback using the data available on your platform. Start by crafting a concise version of the offer to use in your subscription area and complement it with a more detailed version in your page bio. Both versions should clearly communicate the value you bring to the table and what sets you apart from other fan pages. Give this offer a trial run for 30 days and monitor your analytics to track the growth of your subscriber base. If the results are not as expected, take the time to make improvements and repeat the process until you find an offer that resonates with your target audience. Once you have perfected your pitch, use it consistently across all your platforms and social media posts, including TikToks and Reels (SFW, obviously). Your offer should serve as the cornerstone of your brand and effectively communicate why someone should subscribe to you.
Building a Sustainable Business Model
An adult creator, side hustle might succeed based on your individual efforts, but a scalable business requires a sustainable model. This means developing a structure that can accommodate growth without compromising profitability or quality. Analyze your income and costs, project future sales, and understand your break-even point.
This can be really difficult to do if you aren’t tracking any of your own business data. IF you’re not doing this yet - this is the time to start. In order to scale your business bigger, you need to find ways to optimize and streamline things. This means creating processes or systems for EVERYTHING you do. Then evaluating all of those systems and processes to see which of them can be delegated.
For example, I’ve mentioned before that I organize all my content in a telegram channel I have set up solely for that process. I post to that channel in the order the content will appear published to my Onlyfans. It keeps it organized and even includes text, like pricing or summaries of what the content is about. This process was designed for me to stay organized, but also because I knew when I hired someone to help me schedule, it would help them stay organized and effective too. All I’d need to do is train and add them to that Telegram channel.
Another example of a process I have is an emoji key. So in that same telegram channel, if I put a blue emoji heart on the content, I know its' scheduled to Onlyfans. If I put a purple emoji heart on the content, I know it’s scheduled to Fancentro. If I put a Pink emoji heart, I know it's been scheduled to my Manyvids clip store. These types of processes or systems need to be created in ways that make sense, make the work easier, and make the work more efficient.
Once you develop a system, the most important part is having a meaningful way to document it. Why? Because when you do start hiring your team to help you, you’ll want a documented manual on how to do the work, using the process you’ve already created to make it as efficient as possible. If I hired you to work for me internally tomorrow, I could email you a PDF manual of what your tasks are broken down step by step. I’ve nailed down my processes that much. And I know what you’re thinking...man, documenting all of this is going to take so much time. Actually, it doesn’t. I have tools and automation for this. This is actually what the next part of scaling your business is about.
Investing in Automation and Technology
As your business grows, manual methods become unsustainable. This is where technology comes in. Investing in automation tools and digital solutions will streamline operations, save time, and minimize errors. Tools for following back fans on Onlyfans, tools for mass messaging out your retention offer, tools for sending your fans content automatically when they type a certain phrase to you in DMs, and more. Automation is always a game-changer for scaling a business, and with the evolution of AI, there are new automation products entering the space every day.
First, let me share my automation for documenting all my processes. I use two tools for this, and they both have different uses. The first tool I like to document processes is Loom. Loom is a screen recording program that essentially films you talking on webcam in the corner of the screen, while also filming your actual screen. This way you can demonstrate the process or system while explaining it on camera, and simultaneously showing them exactly how to do it on your screen. Essentially, it's the perfect training video. All you have to do is click a red record button (which is a Chrome extension) on your browser. It’s a super easy way to pump out how-to style videos, or even reduce future meetings with team members you do hire by sending them a Loom video instead of actually arranging a Zoom call. This becomes especially useful if you hire someone to work for you remotely and they're in a different time zone.
The second way I document processes is with a tool called “Scribe”. It is also a Chrome browser extension, which you click to turn on when you’re ready to create a step-by-step type of PDF manual. After you activate the extension, it records everywhere you click, everything you type in what steps, and turns it into a stunning PDF with screenshots & your mouse highlighted. It basically pumps out training manuals on whatever your system or process is without you doing anything at all other than going through the process while it watches.
While documenting is really important to prepare to scale your business (because you need that sorted before you can hire help) there are other incredibly useful automation tools as well.
You’ve heard me mention Fanwire a few times, but there are some tools of theirs I haven’t gone too into detail on yet. Fanwire offers a tool called “Content on Demand”. This tool allows you to essentially set up a word, and if the fan writes that word in chat, Fanwire will automatically send them a locked PPV of certain content. So for example if someone says “JOI bundle” in my DMs on Onlyfans, they’ll be auto-sent a locked PPV message with a bundle of JOI videos. Fanwire even tracks the sales & revenue it generates from this automation so you can tweak & improve it.
Another automation feature I have set up with Fanwire is the “Smart PPVs” tool. The way I use this tool is for sending retention offers to my expired fans. So essentially what this tool does is creates a specific PPV message, to target a specific list. In my case, it's expired fans with a piece of content for them to unlock. So, when a fan expires on my page, they get my message saying "Hey...a little something to say I miss you" with a piece of content to unlock. All done without any manual work on my part.
You can also set up a similar automation for a message to go out right before a fan expires off the page, (on their last active day). This is a great time to auto-send a message with a link to a retention offer to bring them back to being active again.
Anything you can automate internally in your business will save you a ton of time. That’s what scaling your business is ultimately about when you think of it in big-picture form. It’s about buying back more of your time, by spending some money on tools, services, and people working for you.
Building a Strong Team
This brings us to the next part - building a team around yourself. Scaling a business is not a one-person job. You'll need to build a reliable, skilled team that has the required skills to execute the systems and processes you’ve already optimized and documented. Hiring might seem like a significant expense initially, but having the right people on board will boost your productivity and set you up for long-term success.
Hiring is incredibly scary. I wouldn’t recommend hiring someone until you’re profiting (after all business & living expenses) around $7k per month consistently. This is a nice buffer in my opinion to start building out your team. Everyone’s number will be different, but I think if you can earn 3+ months in a row an extra $7k that’s all profit, it’s pretty safe to say you can spend $2k of that on a freelancer to offload some of your tasks.
If you’re looking to hire help sooner, my advice is to hire overseas, where the USD goes a lot further. My first virtual assistant was based out of India and only cost me $300 USD a month. He was incredibly professional, reliable, and skilled. I did hire and fire a few before I found my gem. Which is the part no one wants to do, or even tell you about. Please let me save you the headaches I’ve already dealt with. Hire and fire fast. Think of it as swiping left on professional Tinder until you’ve filtered through all the people and found your match. Your first hire likely won’t be the one you stick with. This is why documenting the systems and processes is so important before you begin hiring because the freelancer can easily access materials, train themselves, and more or less execute. Alternatively, they can fail with all the incredibly clear resources you provide them, and filter themselves out for you. Do not waste your time or resources dragging dead weight inside your company. It will sink your ship.
Now, scary hiring conversation aside, once you have found your gems, and they are trained, it comes down to you to hold them accountable. Have a process for doing so. A lot of you listening will not like this next thing I’m going to say. If you don’t hold your team accountable, or you create that culture of NOT being accountable yourself, you will sink your own ship by sending the message to your team that it’s okay not to do the work.
What does this mean?
1: If you say you’re going to do something as the leader or company owner, you have to do it. You set the example they will follow. Being accountable yourself sets a culture of accountability. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, we’re all human. But you have to be pretty damn good. If you’re not already incredibly disciplined, you’re likely not ready to scale your business.
2: You have to hold each person you hire accountable. That doesn’t mean being cruel or dominating by force at ALL. You can be kind and hold people accountable. But that DOES mean you have to be ready to have hard conversations with people that work for you. That also means you have to set deadlines and expectations with each task and circle back to make sure it has been met. Lastly, and everyone's least favorite part, you have to have clear repercussions if the person you’ve hired isn’t hitting goals and expectations. Typically what a company does is create a PIP or (Performance Improvement Plan). This is essentially setting a meeting with your team member, outlining where they're failing to meet expectations, and then creating a plan to correct it. This is usually set over a 2-week period, and after 2 weeks, you evaluate their performance and decide whether they are off of their PIP and back in good standing or off of the team. No one likes this part. I don’t like this part. I have put team members on PIPs. I’ve put one team member on a PIP on two different occasions. Both times they’ve course corrected and their work dramatically improved. This team member is also aware though, that if they are put on another PIP, it will be their last on my team.
I have really big goals for my business. I need to create and build up a team that will be able to help me accomplish those goals. Not everyone is meant to be a part of what I’m trying to build. And that’s okay. To a lot of people, what I’m trying to build for myself is unrealistic or unreasonable. And that too - is okay. It’s my goal. I get to decide how big to dream, and what quality of talent it will take to achieve it. You’ll have to do something similar if you plan on scaling yours.
Learning and Adapting
The adult business landscape is ever-evolving, and so should your business. When I first hired my US-based personal assistant, her main role was helping me upload my premium Snapchat shows to Snapchat every night. Her role (and I’m not exaggerating) has evolved probably 1,000 times since she started working for me 3 years ago. I have 3 more companies than I had 3 years ago. The entire structure has grown and evolved. She has had to do the same over that time.
It's not just her. I’m still learning how to lead a team. And when I say lead, I mean I’m still learning how to be a leader worth following. It wasn’t until very recently I learned that my lack of holding my team accountable was a major constraint in my business. It wasn’t them missing tasks, it was their expectation, which I SET, that it was okay to miss tasks. It was me not wanting to have hard conversations with team members because I love each and every one of them and we’ve all become such close friends. Even though I’ve learned how to hold my team accountable, there will always be something new that I’m sucking at as the CEO of MelRose Inc. Or as the CEO of SexWorkCEO. Because as the business grows, it faces new problems, which I have to find ways to solve. To do that I have to learn new skills and grow equally as much. You should expect to have to do the same.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Finally, you have to remember, your business exists because of your customers. And when we say customers, we mean fans, paying subscribers, clip purchasers, etc. In the same way, you measure your internal team by if they hit their goals or not as a team member, you can measure how good your business is with how satisfied and happy your paying customers are.
Now I understand some of those paying subs or fans will just be insane and unreasonable. They’ll want everything for free and then tell you you’re not even attractive enough to charge for it at all. Those people exist in real life too. We call them Karens, laugh off their outrageous or entirely false complaints, and the show goes on.
What I’m talking about here, is making sure your REAL fans and subs are genuinely happy and satisfied. Your whale spenders feel appreciated. You’re tight-on-money fans who can only carry your subscription still feel valued. You have to make sure you keep your customers happy because it will always be better, cheaper, and easier to keep those customers than trying to convert new ones. Also, people who already have spent on you or your content are MUCH more likely to re-spend on you vs. someone brand new. IF they are happy when they do, maintain focus on customer satisfaction as you scale. Ask your fans for feedback, whether in DMs, in polls on your feed, or even on your social.
Turning your hustle into a scalable business isn't easy, but with the right approach, it's entirely achievable. Understand your value proposition, build a sustainable business model, utilize technology, assemble a strong team, never stop learning, and focus on customer satisfaction. These things don’t happen overnight. For me, these things happened over 5 years. And that doesn’t count the 6 years before I started scaling and learning how to be a good cam performer & content creator. I’m 11+ years deep in this industry, and I’m still a student myself. Take each of these steps slowly, work out the challenges it will present you with, and move on to the next. As you do so, your revenue should grow. If it isn’t, then something needs to be fixed, before continuing onward. And before getting started, ask yourself if you even want to scale this business. It’s not the fun part about what we do as creators. To be very brutally honest, scaling this business is the worst part. Because most of us enter into this space looking to escape the structure of a 9 to 5. To get away from processes and systems. To get away from having to work with other personalities or have deadlines and hard accountability on the art we create. Scaling your adult business essentially brings all of that back into the fold again. They are the necessary evils that make it possible to scale.
There are absolutely days I think to myself...you know what...if I was just a creator, cut the team, and saved the money...how much simpler would things be? The answer is a LOT. But I had to scale my MelRose business because it had to fund SexWorkCEO. If I didn’t buy back some of my time on the MelRose side, there couldn’t even be a SexWorkCEO.
Every dream career you have, no matter how much you may love the work you do - will come with a type of overhead. It’s the boring shit that has to be done. I love creating content, but I hate scheduling it all. I love creating IG content, but I hate starting over when they delete me. There will always be the part you don’t like about the overhead so you just have to decide if scaling is worth taking on that shitty overhead. For me, growing my income 3x on the MelRose side afforded me the ability to build SexWorkCEO. That’s the passion project I find really fulfilling despite the boring work of writing and scheduling out 200+ Tweets a month, and publishing podcasts, blogs, and other resources. But knowing I’m helping when you guys give me feedback every day on how you’ve made more money putting it all into practice...that shit is worth it. It’s worth literally all of it.
If you enjoyed this blog, you'll really love the Twitter Space we did focusing on this topic. Have a question of your own about subscriber retention not answered above? 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.