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Feast or famine: How self-employed sex workers can survive quiet periods

Being your own boss is excellent when you’re all booked up and have a steady income. But these quiet months can be terrible for your bank account and your nerves.

Keeping yourself protected from quiet times as an escort is critical, especially if you’re a sex worker. Today, we’re exploring how to safeguard your finances in slow months and why these months happen.

Scroll down to get the complete lowdown now.

Why do clients go quiet?

As with any business, sometimes there are quiet periods. But knowing the common reasons for quiet times can help you plan ahead and even combat them. Here are some reasons your schedule might be emptier than usual:

  • New Year – Clients might have spent more money over the holidays and have less disposable income until January payday
  • Tax deadlines – If you work with self-employed clients or business owners, they might go quiet around tax deadlines. Again, this is likely because they’re on a tighter budget
  • Summer months – Your clients might be on holiday. This is more likely for clients with young children due to school holidays
  • Cost of living – If prices for everything are higher, non-essential services are the first to go. Unfortunately, for some, this means sex work
  • Public holidays – Sometimes, public holidays (e.g. bank holidays) might slow down your schedule. But this isn’t always the case, as some clients use this free time to book with escorts

While plenty of different reasons may explain your quiet calendar, it could also simply be down to bad luck or a sign you need to revitalise your business model.

However, remember that quiet times are normal. All sex workers and business owners face this issue. Being prepared for slow moments is essential, as you never know when they’ll turn up.woman writing in a planner

How to keep yourself financially stable in quiet periods

If a quiet period arrives, it can quickly cause panic if you don’t have enough cash flow to keep yourself afloat. Living month to month is unavoidable sometimes, but you must treat escorting like a business and save enough money for your taxes to cover slow months.

The best way to cover quiet times is through a forward-facing budget. This simply means you consider the next three to six months when planning your expenses. Instead of focusing on what you can spend today, predict how much you’ll earn in the next few months and save some if you expect a quiet month.

You can take this one step further by saving a set amount of money every month for quiet times. It’s recommended that self-employed people have three to six months of expenses saved up in case of a slow workflow. This can’t be built overnight, but the sooner you start working towards it, the better.

Other ways to keep yourself financially afloat in a slow period include:

  • Picking up shifts in a cafe or restaurant
  • Focusing on marketing to attract last-minute clients
  • Reach out to regular clients
  • Selling old clothes and belongings on second-hand apps
  • Decrease your non-essential expenses

How sex workers can avoid quiet months

While there’s no way to 100% avoid slow months, there are some steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of quiet moments. Planning is always key. So, implement some of these ideas into your sex work business strategy to keep your finances protected from dry spells.

Diversify your income

Income diversification sounds complicated, but it basically means splitting your income into different sources rather than from one place. For example, you can earn from clients, Only Fans, and camming rather than relying on a few big clients. This way, if one income source dries up, you’re not completely without cash.

Create a yearly business plan

A yearly business plan is another way to plan ahead for better business. This can outline your earning goals, how much you need to make every month, and how much you can spend every month.

Once created, you should frequently check it to see how your business is performing. If it’s not doing so well, you can make changes early to avoid big financial dips. A business plan will also help you identify the quietest months.

Offer discounts in quiet times

If you know your quiet periods, you can offer discounts or deals on your services to ensure you get bookings at these times. Attractive deals will ensure you’re busy and have some cash coming in, even if it’s less than your normal rate.

However, be careful how much you drop your prices. This might attract a different type of clientele. Also, make sure you’re clear that the price drop is a one-off deal. Otherwise, clients might expect ongoing low rates.

Compare yourself to competitors

If you can see that other sex workers are busy when you’re not, take some time to compare your business strategies to theirs. Are they marketing themselves more? Are they in a different niche that’s particularly busy right now? What are they doing that’s attracting clients in quiet times? Market research is the best way to understand why clients aren’t spending.

Change how you market yourself

Once you’ve compared your business to other sex workers, you might want to make some changes in how you market yourself. This could be adding new services, embracing kink, or simply re-doing your social media profiles.young woman sorting out her wardrobe

What sex workers can do in quiet periods

It’s all good and well to plan, but these pre-emptive techniques aren’t helpful if you’re in a quiet period. If you’re in a slow period and have reached out to clients, picked up a few shifts, or tried camming, you might want to embrace the quiet and take some time for yourself.

Slow periods are an excellent time to reflect on your mental and physical feelings. Take some time to rest and indulge in self-care or work on your fitness and nutrition. You can also complete administrative tasks or spend more time with friends and family.

Quiet spells don’t last forever, so try to enjoy your time before the bookings start rolling in again!

Learn more about sex work and business on the Vivastreet blog.

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