For an escort looking at marketing her brand, the internet is a huge plus—but also a massive time and money sink. So how does an escort market smart?
by Hannah Jay
Along with decisions about what pictures to publish and what services to list on her website, an escort needs to think about her actual market. Local, national or world-wide? The web makes it possible to escort at all three levels, at any number of price points. The world is not only your proverbial oyster; it is your market.
Before the internet, escorts serviced their local markets simply because they had no practical way of reaching out beyond those markets. Now, the moment a girl puts up a website, the entire world can—in theory—find her.
For some escorts, a purely local business is all they want, or all they can handle. Others like to specialize in visiting business men and so will reach out a little further. Still others, especially those who like to travel, may look to an international market. These are choices which any escort can make, the question is why a particular girl will make a particular choice.
We had the opportunity to chat with Monica G, an international girl based in New York City. She came to escorting from a modeling background. She’s stunning. Five nine, with great bones, a great haircut, and a runway manner.
“I’m not even sure that you would call me an escort, exactly. At my end of the business, it works a bit differently. Much more like modeling, really. Except that I am an independent, which I never was when I modeled. Modeling agencies have the relationships with the clients, and the girls are just booked and sent on assignments. All the money is paid to the agency, and then they pay us a cut.”
“I’ve organized my escort business a bit like an agency representing one girl—me! There are people you meet modeling, higher-end clients and the like, who want to meet me. This would never get past a modelling agency. It just isn’t professional. So, with the web, they can find me themselves. The big difference is that I get paid for the booking and no one else.”
“At the same time,” continued Monica, “I have to have a serious web presence. Clients at my level want to be sure. Between my fees and travel arrangements they are spending quite serious money for my company.”
“Now, the great advantage of living in New York is that a lot of the international class of clients have business in New York regularly, so I can see them without the travel. I used to like flying but after a while it is pretty boring.”
“I’ve developed my website around the New York City theme. International clients want a lot more than a roll in the Egyptian cotton sheets. Or at least mine do, and they are willing to pay for it. I’m not actually from New York, I’m from Maine which is a long story, but I love the city. And I make it my business to know where to eat, where to shop, how to get tickets for a show, the best hidden gems in the city.”
“So, on my website, I spend a lot of time talking about what to do in New York. I also have a public gallery of me in great New York landmarks: the Empire State roof, Wall Street on a Saturday, Central Park and outside The Met. The point being, is to let the client get a sense of me as a New York girl. (Of course I have other series of me in London, Paris and Milan, as well for clients in those cities, or men who want to take me there. The world is a small place.”
“There is nothing NSFW on the public part of my site and none of the text says a thing about escorting or my being a courtesan. It really looks like a model’s site – because that was what it was. I was a bit lucky that I decided to model under an assumed name—Monica.”
“The people who refer my clients to me have the password to the “private” area of the site. I don’t get much traffic, but that is by design. I only want to see a few select men a month.”
We asked her about seeing clients from New York City itself.
“Well, of course I do, but it really isn’t my preferred client base. I like older European men and I target that market. And these days I am also seeing some Chinese clients through a contact in Hong Kong. The trouble is that, at a certain level, New York is actually a very small city. I like to keep my business very discreet and that is a bit of a feat with cameras in virtually everyone’s pocket.”
135 miles away from Monica’s New York City, Kim works as an independent escort in the New York state capital of Albany. She’s very outgoing and laughs a lot during our conversations.
“New York City is so competitive. I’m a nice looking girl but I can’t compete with girls who couldn’t quite make it onto the Ford Model roster. So here I am in Albany. Which is actually a nice little city and, best of all for an escort, a busy city.”
“People need things which only the state government can give them. So they will drive up for a couple of days. Things like rent and hotels are much cheaper here than in New York so when men come to Albany on business, they usually have a little extra cash, or at least they feel as through they do.”
“So you have the guys from in state and then you have guys who are here to try to sell the State something. They can come from anywhere.”
“I try to reach out a little bit with my advertising. I’ll run it in New York City but also in Boston, Harford, Syracuse and a bunch of other places up in this part of the world. Of course I run an ad for Albany itself, but what I am trying to do is get out of town clients.”
“Albany is a very Monday to Friday sort of place. On the weekends, all the politicians go to their home districts and the government pretty much shuts down. From the escorting point of view, you need to be busy Monday through Thursday because you are almost never busy Friday through Sunday. Which is fine with me.”
“I made a point of getting a really nice apartment in a really safe but hip neighbourhood, not far from downtown. One of the nice things about Albany, is that there are still great old, brick, buildings with fairly large apartments and a lot of privacy. I found one just off Lark Street which is a very trendy part of town with lots of street traffic.”
“I make a point in my ads of mentioning that I am happy to do out-calls to select hotels. What that really means is I will go to downtown hotels but not the airport, which is miles away. Downtown is ten minutes.”
“The fact I advertise as an Albany girl means I get a lot of traffic on my website from men who know they are likely to be coming to Albany on business. By looking out past the suburbs, I get at least a dozen dates a month which are with guys who book me even before they actually arrive in town.”
“All the out of town clients are businessmen or government types and the best part of being in a government town, is that they usually have to come back several times to get whatever it is they are doing, done. So I’ll often see a client from, say, Boston, four or five times over the course of a month or two.”
“Having an out of town regular is great. These clients know what they want and they know when they are going to be in Albany, so they will book me three weeks in advance. There is something very reassuring about having bookings which stretch out into the next month. And that’s what makes it worth the time to post a few ads for cities outside Albany.”
“The last couple of years, I have also advertised my services in Saratoga Springs which is about forty miles north of Albany during the summer horse racing season. In the summer Albany slows right down because a lot of the politicians take the summer off – well, they say they are going back to their districts.”
“I have a little car and Saratoga Springs is a 40-minute drive away. I only do out-calls there, but I make sure that I am booked for a minimum of two hours to make the trip worth while.”
“Of course I do see local clients—but that’s funny too, because I see a few politicians and a lot of staffers who really don’t live in Albany. They come when the State Legislature is sitting, but are at home in their districts when it isn’t. They need to be very careful at home, but in Albany it is a lot easier to take a pretty girl for dinner. I am always a “constituent” who needs the “help” of an experienced politician. And there is a bit of a code with the guys that they “don’t see” what their colleagues may get up to after hours in the State Capital. Suits me.”
“But, to answer your question, my business is more regional than local. About 60% of my clients live out of town. That’s very much the way I like it and I will keep advertising to find those clients who are coming to Albany for a few days of meetings.”
At the very opposite end of the scale, we have Jessie, who is a part-time escort in a rather pleasant, wealthy, coastal California city. She is very much the California girl, mid-twenties, blonde, curvy and easy to talk to.
“I only see clients from around here,” Jessie explains. “It is a really good filter. Men who live here on the coast or in the hills behind the city, have made a bunch of choices.”
“This is a hard place to make a living. No one comes here to have a career. The men have already made their money, now they are here to relax, play some golf and, once in a while, spend a little time with me.”
“My whole approach is really relaxed. I mean, I advertise, but only locally and not all that regularly. I am really happy seeing maybe three or four guys a week. Sometimes at my apartment, sometimes at this great, retro, no-tell motel out on the coast highway, or, if I know them, I’ll go to their house.”
“If you really want to know how my business works, it is all about regulars. My perfect regular, and I have a dozen of them at the moment, comes over to my apartment on his way home from golf or tennis has a shower, has a beer and then we have some fun. I’m like the perfect girlfriend: available, hot and delighted if you don’t call for a week or two.”
“This is a small place, so these guys — who are mostly married — have to be really careful. I make that easy for them because my apartment is above a bunch of shops including a sporting goods store and a really popular café. Right on the beach. Can park anywhere and walk into the sporting goods store or the café, and right out the back door and up my stairs. No exposure.”
“I am incredibly picky. I have another job and I go to school part-time, so I am really doing this for the cash income. And I like to party, which is really how I got into this in the first place. There are guys with beachfront houses who like to play cards in the afternoon and have a pretty girl serving drinks in a bikini. It’s a great job, which I still do. One afternoon, a guy flat out propositioned me. Just the classic, ‘There’s another $100 in it for you, for a blow job.’”
“He’d been playing cards all afternoon with table stakes of about $10,000 so I figured, “No way for $100, all the way for $1,000.” I was sure he wasn’t going to pay that much. I was wrong.”
“I still do a couple of card games a month at his house which is three blocks down from my apartment. Great tips and my price is established. Sometimes one of his friends will decide to sit out a few hands, which is money in my pocket.”
“I’m all about safety and knowing your clients and knowing where they come from. I can’t imagine escorting in a larger city or having clients who are just in on business. Well I can imagine it, but I couldn’t do it.”
“I see my clients on the beach or in the same bars I go to. It isn’t awkward at all. I keep my business life separate from my personal life. A lot of my clients are referrals from other clients. These guys are totally relaxed about paying for dates. As one guy said, “Spending a few hours with you is cheaper, and way more fun, than trying to get a date with a girl just like you in a bar and then taking her for dinner a couple of times and then, maybe, getting lucky.”
“I know a couple of other girls in town who do pretty much the same thing. It is a tight little community and we will refer clients to one another if we’re busy. And here’s the thing, I was talking to a client of mine who is a lot older and has lived in the area for nearly all his life; he told me that there were girls doing the same thing forty years ago. “Party girls,” he called them.”
“This place is very conservative on the outside. I mean if a girl tried to work on the street, there would be twenty cops on her in five minutes. But it is also a city which caters to money and some guys with a lot of money like to have pay for play available. Officially, this city has a zero tolerance position on escorts – no agencies and if you try to set one up, you’ll be harassed until you go down the road. Unofficially, the cops have a pretty good idea what I am doing and they know there is no way they can harass me without a lot of my big-shot clients being annoyed. Not a good idea.”
“That’s the great thing about escorting locally, your regulars look out for you; and at a certain level, they have the clout to make sure you are not harassed.”
Global, Local or In Between
How an escort sets up her business and where she sees her market is a matter of choice and confidence; but it is also a matter of business calculation. Escorting is all about finding clients who are eager to indulge themselves with the delights of a willing girl. Obviously price has something to do with this: escorts can only charge what their particular markets will bear.
Money, however, is not the only criteria for escorts to use when they are deciding on their marketing strategy. Each girl has her own comfort zone. While Monica G. is delighted to hop on a plane to meet a client, Jessie wants to stay close to home.
Building an independent escorting business around a girl’s real comfort zone is critical if she is going to enjoy her career. Servicing a wealthy local market or business men passing through can be lucrative and more relaxed than spending a lot of time traveling.
Deciding whether you’re a homebody or an international femme fatale is a critical step in making the marketing decisions which will determine the success of your escorting business. While a weekend in Paris is always desirable, that is not quite the same thing as trudging through airports on your way to work half way around the world.