Every successful person and every media darling have at least one thing in common – they were all newbies their first day on the job. When you’re thinking of getting into any industry, it’s always a great idea to do some independent research, and even to get advice from people more experienced than you. What suggestions might they have? What was the one thing they wish they’d known then that they know now? The same goes for getting into webcamming.

We asked some of the biggest, brightest, and savviest cam stars and webcam business leaders to share their newcomers must-do’s. From getting the proper equipment to self-care and finance management, here’s what they had to say.

Getting Started

Anna Bell Peaks is currently one of the biggest cam stars in the industry – and she, too, had to start somewhere! For Anna Bell, it was after work hours and in her spare time. She built up her online following, eventually enabling her to cam full time. For new models starting out, Anna Bell has the following 1, 2, 3 steps to setting yourself on the right path. She says:

  1. Get the right equipment first: Good lighting and a good webcam – you can get set up for less than $100 on Amazon (and also get good lighting at your local hardware store!)
  2. Make self-care a priority and maintain a positive attitude: Most webcam sites are based on the relationship between client and performer, so the more viewers of your content and in your room, the higher placement on ranking lists you are. Make yourself feel attractive in your own way so lots of people will want to come and check you out!
  3. Be yourself! That’s the best person you can be. Find and do the things you love, and people who love that will talk to you. No one likes a fake.

Learning the Game

After you get your initial setup, cam can get tricky very quickly – but less so if you know how to create a proper balance between the wants of your fans and the parameters of the network you broadcast via. Natalie Star, who is an exclusive top model on Flirt4Free, shares that “while every network has its own set of rules, the key thing to remember is that rules are in place to not only protect the site from models redirecting traffic, being fined, or even banned. The rules are also there to protect YOU, the model.”

“Although the idea of fast money may be appealing, it is never worth compromising your safety over,” she added. In addition to modeling, Natalie also coaches and manages models via Major League Cams. And according to her, “your voice is the most important tool you have on cam.” She goes on to explain – “While many models choose to sit in silence typing their little hearts away, you have to remember that texts have no tone; while many may beg to differ, whether it be due to a language barrier or even the lack of an actual personality, at the end of the day it’s the personable model who will always out earn the silence of an ‘lol.'”

Making Your Mark

In 2017, though personality and the right equipment are essential tools needed in getting it done, standing out on cam takes is a crucial element that takes a bit more savvy. This includes social media strategy, marketing, and branding. From up-and-comers to sexy media personality Harriet Sugarcookie, all in the industry know that making your brand is a mandatory part of building an empire.

Harriet Sugarcookie, mogul and more, says the first step to sharing who you are with the wild world of the web is knowing who you are yourself. “For those who really want to establish their brand, they need to first of all understand what that brand is. Who are you? What attributes define you? What image do you want send out and why?” she explained. “You need a solid identity and to really understand what it is you’re selling and why you want to sell that. From that foundation, you can build up and really grow your brand.”

Camming is Still a Job 

Though webcam certainly has the potential to be fun and freeing, make no mistake – it’s also a job, and in order to be successful, one must treat it as such. This involves all sorts of serious things like business planning, accounting, and money management. Princess Accountaholic is an accountant who works with adult-industry clients. She’s also an expert about the laws and regulations governing the industry’s taxes and where legitimate tax savings may exist. She also writes an accounting advice column on YNOTCam. Her key piece of advice: set yourself up as a business and keep your personal and work funds distinct!

“One area that I find new businesses have challenges is with their finances. One key thing is that a separate bank account should be opened to separate personal from business expenses,” she explained. “For those that use credit cards, those should also be separated by having a business credit card. The initial funds that are placed in the new business checking account can come from business sales or if an individual wants to go ahead and open the account before they’ve sold something, that is fine. This would be part of their ‘owners equity’ in the business. Keeping personal and business expenses separate is key for tax and audit purposes.”

For all you new and seasoned models out there, know this: the taxman is no joke.

Self-Care and the Long Haul

In addition to being a job, webcam can also be a grind. You get to talk to people and make friends, but you also have to deal with other people and their quirky proclivities. Some days will feel like magic, where money and success and stimulation all line up for your best day ever – but other days will feel like pulling teeth. Now, don’t misconstrue: this hot and cold balance is not unusual. Every job in every industry has its good and bad (and glorious and exceptionally shitty) days – webcam (and the sex industry as a whole) are no different.

It’s important to pay attention to your personal health and wellness consistently – keeping yourself safe, sane, and sexy for the long haul should be a daily priority. According to Lola Davina, author of Thriving in Sex Work: Heartfelt Advice for Staying Sane in the Sex Industry and YNOTCam’s health and wellness columnist, “New models, as budding small-business entrepreneurs, need to master time management. Spend too much time on cam, and the work/life balance goes out the window, leading to exhaustion and burnout. Spend too little time, it’s impossible to build up a loyal clientele.”

Jamie Rodriguez, Flirt4Free‘s director of product, seconded Lola’s insights, adding that “It’s important for new models to realize that successful camming isn’t something that happens without effort or overnight. Top models have achieved their successes through dedication, consistency, and truly making an effort to connect with their fans. If a new model treats camming seriously, they can earn serious money.”