All marketing programs will stress the importance of knowing your customer. However, whereas a business does need to know who their "best" customers are, the truth is that a business needs to know the various segments of customers whom they are most successful.
Not all customers are created equal. What I mean by this is that some customer groups are easy to work with, pay well, are free of drama and create a positive session experience for both the Domina and themselves.
Other groups may be a struggle to book, squabble over money, frequently no-show, and when they do show up, are pressing the Domina for services they are not comfortable providing. It is vital that a Professional Domina analyze her customer segments and come to understand the advantages, disadvantages and profitability of each.
Society is changing so rapidly, that every generation is different in terms of their values, their desires, their hangups, their work ethic, how they treat the opposite sex and a host of other elements. Let's take a moment to define the various generations of clients you may have.
Baby boomers were the generation that put professional domination on the map, so to speak. During the Golden Age of Professional Domination: 2000-2006, the large sized population base of baby boomers, self-conscious about their kinks, demanding anonymity, but yet wishing to experiment into the world of BDSM were who made professional dungeons so very popular. It was not uncommon for top Dominas working in houses back then to have 8 - 15 sessions a night! Baby Boomer clients are typically established financially and are low drama, having spouses of their own and merely wishing some excitement on the side. Ethics, honesty, integrity, and confidentiality are essential when working with a Baby Boomer. Many have been sessioning for years and therefore professionalism is vital, and young dommes will be well served if they are honest about their level of experience since they are unlikely to be successful bluffing their way through a session. Boomers do like to put a woman up on a pedestal and will frequently be generous, as long as it is their idea and they are not being "pushed" to be generous.
Generation X came after the Baby Bommers and are a profitable client base for dominas today. There numbers are roughly only half of that of Baby Boomers, but they are typically financially stable and also low drama. This is the first of the latch-key generation. Many of their parents worked and they are likely to see women on a more equal terms than their Baby Boomer siblings. Many Gen-X clients will come to a domme for acceptance of a kink that thier spouse is not interested, sometimes covertly and sometimes with the blessing of the spouse. They are frequently good customers and become regular and this is the reason why many dommes advertise that they only wish to see mature clients.
Millennials are younger coming of age at the turn of the 21 century and having been born in the 80s and 90s. Many grew up completely sheltered in an increasingly dangerous world. Many were kept in doors, replacing the street football of their fathers with video games. For this reason, many are more socially challenged, communicating electronically rather than in person. They may shy away from real-time sessions in favor of online sessions, and many have a habit of falling in love with any pretty face who pays them any attention. Less established financial stability, combined with social anxiety may make millennial a difficult group to work with. Their society naivete makes frequent targets for fin-doms.
Knowing these generational groups and your preferences for clients is an important step in terms of developing your marketing plans for the future.
Genre's of clients
I like to consider clients falling into three types: Submissives, Fetishists, and Masochists. And although any sub may wish to be 'tested" true masochists that find intense pain to be stimulating are relatively rare. A client is a fetishist when their sexuality is tied to an inanimate object, role or activity. And a submissive is generally a more diverse client who enjoys the relinquishing of power and allowing the Domina to lead the way into a variety of sexual activities.
It is important to note that a client may not actually "be" the type of client that he represents himself to me. I've known "Dominant" males to say they are submissive and schedule a session in order to get an opportunity to "hit on" a beautiful domina, quickly turning nasty when his desires aren't acquiesced to.
I not saying that you must be careful to only session with verifiable submissives, but rather you have to pre-qualify for clients which are honest in their intention and are willing to act submissive throughout the session. You may find for example that your best clients are successful and aggressive business leaders who come to you to let go and relax, balancing against their career which always has them making decisions for others.
And fetishists are not necessarily submissive, either. Many are just kinky guys wanting their "sexual-kink" satisfied. And conversely, a submissive may request a fetish activity such as a golden shower or cross-dressing, not because they are turned on by the activity, but rather they are turned on by the act of submitting to these "humiliations."
Human behavior and psychology is one of the most complicated subjects there is, so don't be discouraged if it takes you time to profile you customers. Over time, you will see recognize patterns and you will come to understand who your best customers are and how to market to them
After you know who your clients are, it is important for you to get a feeling for the size of the potential market in the community that you wish to operate. Is the size of your market compatible with your long term goals? And how do you even determine the seize of your market? It is not as if you can go into the local business school's library to look it up.
* Who is your competition, and how much is she or them working? What kinds of sessions is she doing? Does she specialize in a certain activity or with a certain type of client.
* How many processionals are regularly advertising on Eros? If a provider is going to keep a ad up on Eros it is paying for itself, so you can determine a minimum market size based on advertising.
* We'll talk a bit about data analytics later, but once you have a website up, and begin social media campaigns you will be able to see where your viewers and followers are locate.
* What is the size of the lifestyle community in your area? Are there munches? Are their bdsm clubs? How about operating BDSM "houses.?"
If the size of the market is not congruent with your goals, you have several choices:
1. Take the time to grow the market yourself (a long term proposition).
2. Commit yourself to travel a great deal to other markets.
3. Provide other revenue drivers such as a video clip store, a vibrant online session offering or perhaps even products for sale.
3 CASE STUDIES
I met Mistresss Delilah when she was working with Tara Indiana at her New York dungeon and occasionally travelling to session at Tara's Hollywood location. This was during the "Golden Age" and Delilah was working a great deal.
After the fall of New York and the onset of the dark ages, Mistress Delilah moved to Atlanta and although Atlanta has a much smaller bdsm market then NY, Delilah supplement her Atlanta revenue with regular trips to various cities across the U.S and supplements income with a large large video clip offering.
Mistress Julia Steele was a well known Atlanta Dominatrix who maintaine a national bulleting board and took advantage of scene traellors to Atlanta. When the scene went into the dark ages, Julia put her attention to pursuits away from BDSM and cut her BDSM activities to a part time offerting, having little interest in traelling.
Egyptian Royalty had been in New York, but Atlanta proved to be a much maller market for this Domina. Her option was to open a second dungeon in the BDSM rich community of San Francisco which grew to pulling 2/3 of her overall session revenue. E.R. had found a more comfortable alternative to the constant travel that many pro Dominas must endure.
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