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13 differences to expect when you switch careers from an agency-based to an independent escort
January 5, 2015 |
You’re excited and finally free! No more pandering to the escort agency owner or accepting bookings you shudder to think of. Moving to an independent escorting career is empowering and something to be proud of. However, without proper planning and real expectations, your endeavor may be quite a slap in the face.
As you start your independent career, you should be aware of the major differences you will incur as an independent escort. You may find that your reliance on the agency was somewhat handy, especially when you discover how much the agency actually took care of for you. Escorts have to be prepared to take up the slack when they resign from an agency and attempt to make it big on their own. Preparation ahead of time will help you handle these major differences:
1. Independent escorts have to screen their own clients. Even though all agencies do not do a stellar job of conducting background checks for potential clients, they do have enough policies and resources that help deter dangerous or untrustworthy clientele. However, when you venture out on your own, the screening process is left up to you to perform. This is a step you cannot afford to skip, and it may take some time and energy, especially in the beginning. Figuring in the time it takes to verify a client should always be added into how much time you spend regularly on “work”.
2. Paying for and booking your own hotels is part of the job of an independent escort. When you worked for an agency, they were responsible for any hotel costs or reservations associated with encounters (except for outcalls). But, as an independent escort, it is up to you to reserve and remit payment for any accommodations required for client bookings. Additionally, payment of the room, regardless of whether clients show up or not, is required and comes directly from your pocket. As you set rates for these kind of encounters, you have to figure in that the fee for the room will have to come out of your income before profit can be figured.
3. Escorts working on their own have to find their own incall locations. One of the perks of working for an agency is that they often have locations they use for incalls that you get to camp out in for bookings. Even though you weren’t “employed” by the agency, you still got to take advantage of the benefits it offered. It was nice that you didn’t have to have a private area available to take clients to. However, when you are working independently, the incall location is your own responsibility. Some independent escorts elect to limit their bookings to outcalls or use hotels for their incall sessions with clients. But, high-end clients often expect that an escort will have a consistent, discreet location that they can depend on for encounters. If you want to be taken seriously by regulars, it may be necessary to find an affordable incall. A studio apartment or small condo might be perfect for your purposes. Another option would be a small house in a residential neighborhood. Regardless of the type of dwelling you choose, it must be conveniently and centrally located, easy to get to and provide methods of keeping your bookings discreet. The cost of your incall will put a dent in your income, too, so be sure to account for that as part of your expenses.
4. Marketing becomes an independent escort’s responsibility. If you worked for an agency in the past, they promoted your services through their channels at their expense. Often, they will coordinate photography to get you set up with professional photos, too. When you go independent, you will find that marketing efforts will consume a lot of your time when you’re not actually seeing clients. Writing and updating profile information, changing up photos for galleries and performing other tasks related to promoting yourself take a considerable amount of effort, unless you advertise on Skip the games. Even after you’ve established your basic marketing plan, it doesn’t end there. You will continually be assessing your efforts to determine what is effective and making adjustments to maximize your exposure. Self promotion is a never-ending job when you are an independent escort.
5. Communicating with clients suddenly becomes your job, instead of the agency’s. As an agency escort, you probably received notification of where to be, who you were going to see and the length of time for the encounter. Once you got to the booking, communications began with the client. Up to that point, it is unlikely that you were engaged in the booking process at any level. However, when you leave the agency, the entire booking process is up to you. From the initial contact with a client to answer basic questions to the confirmation of the encounter an hour ahead of time, the whole communication effort is yours. You will need to learn to limit the chatty clients who want to talk more than book. You will have to spot and avoid timewasters. You will have to achieve efficient and effective communications with clients to find compatible times in your schedules to meet up and set the details for when, where and how. While it sounds easy, communicating with clients is sometimes the most challenging aspect of being an independent escort.
6. Independent escorts receive the entire payment from the encounter. Unlike when you worked at the agency, the whole fee goes directly into your pocket. If you charge $300 per hour, you get the full $300. You will have to collect the fee up front at the beginning of the encounter and keep it safe during the booking. But, once you get free from your client, the money is yours. However, even though it may seem like the entire fee is your profit, it isn’t. The money that clients give you for spending time with them must pay for your expenses as an escort. Expenses might include your attire, marketing efforts, mobile phone bill, incall rent, hotel room fees, travel costs, charges for supplies (condoms, lube, wipes, etc.) and any other trivial costs along the way. All expenses related to escorting are your responsibility and come out of your payment from encounters. It may seem like you’re earning more initially, but unless you’re budgeting wisely, you may not be increasing your income as much as you’d assume. And don’t forget taxes.
7. Setting your own schedule is a perk of being an independent escort. Many agencies require their escorts to work during peak times and be on call during hours that may not be the most convenient for them. You were a slave to the agency’s needs. When you become an independent escort, all of that changes. Except it doesn’t, really. While it’s true that you’re able to establish your own working schedule, you must ensure that it coincides with times that clients prefer to meet up. If you’re continually losing bookings due to an inconvenient schedule, you will have to change up your availability to match your clients’. That may mean that you will have to work when you don’t prefer or adjust your personal life so that you can respond to client requests when they are able to meet with you.
8. Partnering up with others escorts is more of challenge when you don’t work for an agency. Even if you never worked with the other escorts in your agency, it was nice to be able to talk about work with them. You may have griped about agency policies, clients or encounters, in general, with another escort you befriended through agency work. Once you leave the agency, these kind of work friends are few and far between. You may not maintain relationships with other escorts that provide you an opportunity to commiserate about your trials and tribulations in the industry. As a result, you may want to look for others whom you can chat with from time to time in online forums or local sex worker groups.
9. Independent escorts have to supply their own security measures. Agencies want their escorts to be safe when they venture out to bookings with clients, so they implement safety calls or other measures to ensure that no risks are present as an escort arrives. Having someone to call to report in with is a great assurance that someone knows where you are and expects you to turn back up afterward. However, when you work independently, it’s your own responsibility to continue this practice. You will have to find a trustworthy friend or colleague to serve as a security buddy when you’re working. It’s essential that you continue with these habits in order to ensure your safety and well being. Sometimes, a client will refrain from violent or threatening behavior simply due to the fact that he knows you are in touch with someone who can report an issue to the police.
10. Relying on the agency reputation is no longer going to get you anywhere. Many new escorts depend on the good reputation of an agency they join with as a way to grow their careers. Simply by association, they gain notoriety or prestige with clients, garnering them tips, repeat patronage and respect. However, when you leave an agency, you abandon all of this and start fresh. Of course, you can always tell a client you were previously associated with a particular agency, but it’s more important for you to build your own brand and reputation from this point on. Your image, style, work ethic, appeal and communication will create overall impressions about you. Make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward and demonstrating your class, intelligence and sex appeal in a way that is becoming to you and your professional aspirations. Always question how your marketing and communication efforts will be perceived before putting anything out publicly. Building a good reputation is essential to a long, lasting successful career.
11. Finding new clients is a part of your job. Agency escorts are blessed in that they are just given clients and go to encounters. They often establish regulars with whom they have consistent “dates” with through the agency bookings. When you go independent, you have to find your own clients, apart from those who patronize the agency. If you attempt to take your regulars with you as you leave the agency, do so with extreme discretion and caution. Most agencies will wish you well in your new endeavors; but, if they catch a hint that you’re taking their customers away from them as you leave, you may be blackballed and targeted within the industry.
12. Selecting your own clients is a great perk to being an independent escort. As mentioned above, escorts take agency referrals and have no say in the type of client they see. (If they find a client threatening or overly insulting, they may refuse an individual.) But, as an independent escort, you have the opportunity to target the type of client you want to see, specifically. If you’re looking for wealthy Wall Street types, techie computer entrepreneurs or doctors and lawyers, it’s up to you. Choosing your own clientele is a luxury that you get to enjoy, as long as your client list is growing and keeping you busy. Otherwise, you may have to take the ones who express interest, even if they don’t fit your preferences.
13. Independent escorts don’t have to play games with their employer. Agency politics play into the success of an escort by requiring you to kiss ass when it doesn’t suit you. The escorts who manage to become featured and preferred providers are often the ones who have the closest relationships with the agency owner or managers. If you don’t like office politics, an agency won’t be for you. Working independently, you are already best friends with the boss and only have to please yourself.
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