If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It: On Never Running Specials

by Beatrice Darling on August 28, 2012 · 9 comments

in Money, Tools of the Trade

We’ve survived August, which for many escorts is the slowest month of the year. Wealthy clients all seem to be either on family vacations, or else catching up with everything they missed at work because they just got back from family vacations. Clients on a budget are trying to get the kids to the beach and back to school or are cutting large tuition checks. Summer specials are popping up everywhere to help girls compete. Time to pull out the laptop and drop your rates til September.

Or, you know. Don’t.

Running a special can backfire and weaken your brand. Clients who usually see you at $300 an hour may begin waiting for your specials if you routinely drop to $250 any time your week looks slow. Clients who begin seeing you under a special rate may feel mistakenly entitled to continue seeing you at that rate for all of eternity. Clients who jump on specials tend to be bargain hunters looking to get the most bang out of their buck, and don’t stick around to become loyal, long term clients. And, perhaps most discouragingly, good clients who would see you at your full rate may wonder why you’re dropping it, and whether they should reconsider. Besides, who wants to do the same job, but for less money?

Of course, there are other options, and you don’t have to decide between moonlighting at Starbucks or jumping into The Race To The Cheapest Blow Job with every other girl in town. Before dropping your rates, consider trying to enhance your business instead.

Get New Photos

Good, flattering, quality photos are the single most important thing you will ever do for your business as an escort. They will make or break you, and you should be updating them often—strategically during slow spells. Whether you enlist a friend who loves snapping pics, trade content with a photographer from One Model Place, find a photographer on your local escort board, or shell out for a full shoot from a professional, new photos always result in more attention. Someone who’s seen the same photos of you for three months may be inured to your charms, but men are visual creatures. Give them something new they can’t get out of their heads, and your inbox will start to fill up. The slow season is the perfect time to take a day off for a shoot anyway, and if you hold back photos and release them one at a time, the shoot you do on a free day now can have you releasing fresh pictures for months. And if you advertise on Eros, you can update your photos every two weeks and appear in the “What’s New” category for extra exposure that costs you nothing.

Update Your Website and Ads

A lull in appointments is a great time to freshen up your content. If you’re not much of a writer, find a friend who can help your words capture the devastating, rapturous quality of your company and affections. Start with a list of adjectives that describe how you want your clients to see you, and go from there. Clients who read the same ad over and over will eventually stop reading. Give them something new, polished, and titillating.

While you’re at it, make sure you’re promoting yourself everywhere you can be—and want to. Don’t advertise in places inconsistent with your image. A lot of people hate review boards, and even more people look down on Backpage and Cityvibe. I’m not here to judge, but if it doesn’t feel like the right place to you, skip it. If, however, inertia and complacency have you relying on the same advertising venues, it may be time to branch out. Maybe you have a Preferred411 account you haven’t logged into for a while, have let your Eros ads lapse, or have been favoring one board and neglecting a couple of others. If so, you may be due to make a comeback. There’s a lot of crossover traffic from one site to another, but there are also clients who only ever shop on one site. You could be missing out on great clients by not casting a wide enough net.

Schmooze Your Biggest Spenders

You know who they are: The guy who takes you to dinner once or twice a month, the client who goes on benders where he sees you three or four times a week, and then disappears, the gentleman who took you to Vegas. The ones who have seen you often, spent generously, and kept you sustained. Read a book they recommended and email to tell them what you thought of it. Take a picture of something that reminds you of them and send it with a sweet note. If you swap gardening tips or recipes, find one that you “just had to pass on, hope you’re having a wonderful summer!” If he wasn’t thinking of you before, he will be now. If he was, this is the perfect excuse for him to book with you. Whatever it takes, find a personal, thoughtful reason to say “hello.” And just hello. Nobody likes to get a sales pitch, but everybody loves to be thought of fondly.

Find a Duo Partner

You probably already know a girl or two you’ve worked well with in the past, or have a girlfriend in your area who you could take doubles with. If not, find someone similar to you in age, body type, rates, and attitude, and ask her to coffee or drinks. Feel her out, and if she seems not clinically insane, bitch about how slow it is and ask if she’d like to do doubles sometime. Most girls like money, and see it as the business proposition that it is, and not like a pickup line. Don’t be shy. You may have to take a small hit on your individual rate: It may benefit you to offer $500 for both of you if your rates are normally $300 each. From a business perspective, however, this is not the same as running a regular special, even though it has the benefit of creating that same sense of urgency when your clients see you advertise duos for a limited time. They aren’t paying less for the same thing; they’re getting an entirely new offering that may not be available later. And they’re still spending more than your full rate to see the both of you, so you can be sure that when you’re working solo again, the clients you attract this way should be able to easily swing your full, non-discounted rates.

Raise Your Rates

This is completely counterintuitive. Nobody is seeing you, or anyone, for all you can tell at the $300 you currently charge. Why would you raise it to $400? Or $500? Or (eek!) more? Because it works, and you work less, that’s why. Freakonomics covered it here. The economic principle behind this backward supply and demand curve? It’s called a Veblen Good. A Veblen Good is anything whose demand increases as the price increases. It’s perceived as more valuable simply because it’s more expensive. Is Cristal really, truly, ACTUALLY tens of thousands of dollars worth of amazing? Not even kind of. But people buy it because it makes them feel indulgent and rich. Let your clients indulge!

If you’re nervous, try posting the new rates just to your website, and leaving your board ads alone for the time being. Or updating your ads, but letting your favorite clients know they’re being grandfathered for the rest of the year. There are many creative ways to hedge your bets here. Play with it a little bit if you want to, but the second clients see that you’re more expensive than the other girls in town, they’re going to want to find out why. You’re likely to approach your clients with more energy and enthusiasm after giving yourself a raise, in turn justifying your higher rates, earning the adoration of your clients, and maintaining the completely artificial but absolutely effective allure of THE REALLY EXPENSIVE HIGH-END GIRL.

Even if all of these suggestions don’t create as big of an immediate boom as you may be hoping for, you will still have used your dry spell to get better photos and better ads, to strengthen relationships with your best clients and your network of other providers, and you may even be making more money per session. In the short term, your business will benefit from the infusion of energy, but in the long term, instead undercutting yourself with specials every time your inbox is empty, you’re building a stronger foundation for your business by using your downtime to grow.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thank you so much for this! Timely, needed, practical and appreciated.

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Miss Dior Dandridge August 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

this is my new theme song!!!!!!

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Ms. Vy August 30, 2012 at 9:01 am

What a pick-me-up for a slow August morning!

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VIP Rani Lane August 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I agree completely. Also, I’ve noticed that the less clients are charged, the more demanding they seem to be. When an escort’s rate is both inexpensive (reasonable) and perceived as having little value, many men no longer appreciate her. Being chosen because your rate is affordable is ENTIRELY different than being chosen because you are EXACTLY what he wants. I’m offering fantasy fulfillment, not bargain basement bin discounts.

Keep it up, Miss Obdurate!

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kitty September 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

these are great! i knew there was a reason i didn’t run specials – i haven’t seen it work for anyone else, but didn’t know the explanation behind it. will keep them in mind, hopefully to my benefit (and whoever else reads it!).

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Elle Elle September 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I’m not an escort, but these are good stripper tricks as well. Thank you!

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AshleyC September 12, 2012 at 12:32 am

I’m a bit of a Freakonomics nerd, so I love that reference. Because I learned some great escort business lessons from that chapter, I’m happy to see it shared here with people for whom it’s more than cocktail party chat.
Got my photoshoot booked for next week, and still rocking my vacation tan! Great tips, great timing – thanks.

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Luna September 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Yep, I’m with Elle on this one!
My club runs hourly 2-for-$40 dance specials at night (regular lapdances are $30), which seem to turn a lot of big spenders off, and the ones that go for the specials will ONLY get the special and no additional regular-price dances (they will just wait ANOTHER hour til the NEXT special gets run. Ugh!). It’s exhausting & hurts our $.

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thepinch April 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm

I am a triple whammy – a newbie, a mature, and one who does not use ERB’s. My city is under siege with a winter lasting far too long, and double digit unemployment.

I ran an experiment today where I posted on a fast money website under a different name. Result? 2 morons.

I keep my ads going for the higher priced venues, and it is slow, but steady. I am now so far untried, but I am also the highest priced mature in my city.

Won’t pay the bills, but hey! ;)

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