8 things to think about before starting an OnlyFans account
Because of my erotic photography, I regularly come into contact with models who want to start monetizing their content. Patreon and especially OnlyFans is a great way to do this. Most models make a few hundred dollar and some of them 4000-5000 dollar, with outliers making 25000-30000 dollar / month.
However, I have seen many models start up on a whim, without preparation or thinking about the consequences. This can lead to negative experiences with the platform.
I have given this advice time and time again and I decided to just write it down, hopefully, to help others.
Before you start, think about how you are going to make money. There are 3 main ways of earning money:
- Private content via private messaging
Think about your strategy. For example, you could have a very low subscription price and try to get as many followers as possible, that you can upsell on private content. Or you might do the exact opposite and have a high subscription price and no extra costs to see additional content. Or a combination of both.
One big mistake I see is people who are so excited, that they just create an account, without much content. After a few weeks, they already run into problems, because they don’t have enough content.
Most followers will expect you to post daily. While this isn’t mandatory and all about managing the expectations of your followers, it will greatly increase retention.
I recommend having about 3 months’ worth of content before starting. That means about 90 photos, videos, posts, …
- 10 boudoir images
- 20 art nude images
- 10 erotic images
- 10 sexy selfies
- 15 nude selfies
- 10 casual videos
- 5 strip/erotic videos
- 10 text posts
Just fill in your own numbers or add or remove lines as you see fit. If you have this list, make sure to have that content ready. When you start your account, you can just schedule everything and never have to worry about “oh no, I’m running out of content”.
How are you going to attract followers? Do you have any existing networks, like a large following on instagram? Are you going to use stories? Or other social media networks like twitter, youtube, reddit, …? Think about this before you start. Where are your followers going to come from?
A proven general method is creating a sales funnel. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but it is a system of creating value and upselling. For example:
- You have 12K subscribers on Instagram
- Out of those 12K, you get 500 people to subscribe to your newsletter with some extra free content, with links to subscribe to your OnlyFans
- Out of those 500, you get 100 OnlyFans subscribers
- Out of those 100, you get 10 “true fans” that will basically buy any content you present them
The sales funnel is how to get through each step, how you are going to incentivize them to get to the next step. It’s something to think about before you start.
How are you going to keep your followers? Something that is greatly underestimated is the time and energy you will have to put into managing your account. It’s not just about posting some images and hope people will pay. Growing your account is all about keeping your existing followers. Responding to and liking all of their comments is important. Also private messaging can be important if you are going to sell private content via DM.
Retention is also about managing expectations. If your followers are not getting what they expected before they signed up, you will lose them quickly or you might have to deal with the stress of them trying to push you into doing this you don’t want to do.
For example, if you are sure you are never going to do any erotic content, Patreon might be a better choice than OnlyFans. OnlyFans is known for it’s higher focus on erotic / pornographic content. That does not mean you should do erotic content when you start an OnlyFans account, but it might be what people expect when they sign up. So it’s a good idea to clearly indicate what they can and cannot expect to find on your account.
The photographer’s copyright
Legally, you cannot post images on your OnlyFans account without permission of the photographer. It’s a really controversial topic in the photography community and heavily frowned upon to do so.
However, when you ask nicely, most photographers will gladly give you permission. Just make sure to do so and respect the photographer’s wishes when he declines permission. The best way to go about this is to just let hem know before the shoot and make it part of your agreement.
You will have less luck when it comes to exclusivity. Most photographers will not shoot TFP with you if they cannot use the images themselves. So if this is something you want, bear in mind that you will probably have to pay the photographer.
SETTING PERSONAL BOUNDARIES
Once you sign up, you will get pressure from your followers to exceed your own comfort levels. Aside from your followers having all sorts of requests, you will see and read about other models who are earning thousands of dollars per month, doing pornographic content, which might make you insecure about your own earnings.
And again, there is absolutely no shame in doing pornographic content. But set clear boundaries before starting on this journey, and make sure you stick to them.
The same goes for private messaging. You do not owe anybody anything, just because they paid. If they start sending you stuff you don’t feel comfortable with, warn them a few times, saying you are not ok with what they are sending you, and block them when the behavior persists, without a refund.
This one is so, so, so, soooooo important! Think about the type of content you are going to post and how you would feel if your parents or friends found that content.
I have heard this one over and over again: “I feel comfortable with people seeing my content, I just hope my friends don’t see it. But I have full control over who has access to my OnlyFans account”.
You … don’t …
First of all, your content WILL get downloaded and put online somewhere. There are websites out there that profit from subscribing to OF accounts, downloading the content and then re-selling it. That is out of your control.
Secondly, your parents, your friends, your fans, … they are all connected. I have heard several stories about people signing up to a model’s OF, then seeing they have mutual friends and sharing the content. Before you know it, all of your friends and family know what you are doing.
And I really feel like I need to repeat myself, because new OnlyFans models like to overlook the risk and think “oh, it won’t happen to me”. So again: you do NOT have complete control over your content. Leaks are inevitable, so take into account that you will be confronted with friends and family finding out. Make sure you are comfortable with that.
I’m not trying to dissuade you from doing OnlyFans, on the contrary, I think it’s an amazing thing. But if you are going to do it, make sure you are 200% behind this and that you are not scared about anybody finding out. There is no shame in doing OnlyFans, apart from the shame others try to force upon you.