The sex industry is right at the cutting edge of everything tech.
When the Director and writers of the Cameron Diaz movie Sex Tape (which was awful) visited the offices of a few of the big porn sites they were astonished. They didn’t find sleezy pervs hanging round an old laptop as they seemed to expect. What they found were large modern businesses operating some of the largest servers outside Amazon and Google and run by some of the smartest technology experts to be found anywhere.
Which makes sense if you think about it.
The sex industry is huge. With escort agencies, phone lines, cam work and porn (with or without dating agencies thrown into the mix!) the industry in all it’s forms is both very large and extremely competitive.
Any cam or porn service that doesn’t have stable and quick servers will soon be out of business. No-one is willing to put up with delays or interrupted service anymore.
Any great escort agency, especially in big cities such as London or tourist centres like Ibiza, could not be in business without a great website. And that great website or service is useless unless your search engine optimisation (SEO) means that you rank high enough on Google, Bing and Yahoo for people to find you in the first place!
The days of putting cards into telephone boxes are long past. Even here in Spain where advertising as an escort is legal (a friend of ours in Marbella has actually rented a large electronic billboard!) the vast majority of business is generated by prospective clients finding the website.
These days you can have the greatest talent in the world but if you can’t work out how Google ranks pages, then you’re screwed. And not in the good way!
All of which means that the single most valuable person in our team is not a 25 year old Playboy model, or a Miss World contestant with a PhD, or even a famous pornstar. It’s the 19 year old guy with a ponytail who plays games on one screen while running our websites on the other two. I know that sounds like a cliche, but I’m watching him do it right now.
And our greatest set of expenses is not lingerie, shoes, travel or even security. It’s geeks and their kit. Which is fine by me, because above the Louboutins and underneath the La Perla sits a woman who’s nerdy about being a geek.
Every escort agency wants to be on the first page of Google for the relevant searches. But we rather take it for granted now that if we launch a website it will be page one within 90 days. Yes, the team really is that good! Our latest Ibiza escort agency just hit 4th on Google in 73 days from launch.
But the difference in enquiries (and therefore business) between being in the bottom three on page one and being in the top three is nearly 500%. So if you want to be really successful in the sex business, you need to devote time, focus and a lot of intellectual firepower. It isn’t something you can just throw money at, as most of the businesses who claim to offer web design and SEO services are worse than useless.
If you pick the wrong firm you can find yourself with a useless website that is optimised for completely the wrong search terms, or none at all. A friend of ours in London is very proud that she has the top ranked site for her supposed niche. Unfortunately her niche is only searched for less than 200 times a month. And most of those searches come from the Far East, and it yields her no business at all. Lovely looking site though.
There are lots of tools that allow you to check on the popularity of search terms, but before you do that you have to put yourself in the mind of your clients. What are they really looking for and how will they phrase it in a search? Get it right and you can open the keys to the promised land. get it wrong and you don’t have a business.
If you choose an SEO company unwisely it can do permanent damage to your business. Beware if you try to use money to game the system and have someone buy backlinks to drive your Google ranking. You are likely to come a terrible cropper. You can even find your site “sandboxed” by Google and excluded from search rankings completely.
And I haven’t even begun discussing social media, which can be used as anything from a simple advertising medium for the website to a terrific way of engaging with clients. And with the right techniques (which I’m not going into here!) it can also be a significant revenue earner in its own right.
When you want to get really lost in the maze of possibility, cloud computing and smart phones can allow you to share photos, take and place bookings, run diaries and basically operate an entire business from a small handbag. Which suits me fine.
So the next time you hear anyone talking about how geeks and nerds rule the world, remember that they also run the sex industry as well. Which means that not only do they know stuff that you don’t, they probably make more money and get more honey too!