Why pricing digital content isn't about what your peers are doing - and what you can do to create demand for YOUR content and YOUR brand.
One of the big conversations on Twitter this week has been on pricing as content creators.
Now, I'll be the first to tell you - at the club I charge HIGH! I love those BIG money asks and BIG payouts!
But I'll also be the first to tell you -the club is NOT THE SAME as the computer!
Pricing your digital content has different elements, and if you're going to grow your digital business it's KEY to understand the major diferences!
I'll get into all the reasons the club is different from the computer in this series, but today I just want to talk to you about ONE thing.
If you don't read any further, just this one piece of information can be a major AHA moment for growing your digital brand, and can take away frustration about what other content creators are/aren't charging!
If you think what someone else is charging is the only reason you can/cannot charge a certain amount for your services, you’ve got a big problem on your hands.
The problem is bigger than pricing.
If someone else's price point is stressing you out, it's a big sign that you're not taking into account how different digital creation is from in-person work - and that you may be missing out on opportunities by focusing too much on pricing of individual items- and not focusing enough on your bottom line.
Let’s break it down.
You’ve probably spent hours, days, hell, weeks, trying to figure out how to price your content.
From the paywall for OnlyFans to PPV clips to products in clipstores, to the question: how much free content is enough to get these people buying???
Even though the difference may seem small to customers, as the person getting paid you know this comes up all the time.
“Is this a $10 clip or a $5 clip?”
“Is this a $5.99 page or a $15 page?”
“Why is she charging so little?”
“How is she charging so much?”
Behind all of these is the question – “how could this become a higher priced page/photoset/video?”
And behind that is the biggest question, and the only one we should really care about:
“how could this be part of a bigger bottom line? How could this brand/service/business give me X amount in income over the next X years?”
The easy answer would seem to be – just charge more!
If we all charge more, then they’ll be forced to pay!
In this article, we’ll break down why it doesn’t work that way- and why worrying about other content creators’ prices ultimately doesn’t make you money, and will only cost you time, energy, and potentially rewarding relationships with your peers.
“Just Charge More!”
Why do prices go up or down?
If we want to talk pricing, let's start with why prices change over time.
The simplest reason is supply and demand.
Here’s a really easy example of how this works:
The year is 1987. If I own the only porno VHS store in the tri-state area and decide I will take no less than $29.99 per video rental, you’re gonna pay that $29.99.
If two more porno VHS stores open up, and start charging $15.99 per video, my price will have to go down or my sales will go down. Period. There’s a bigger supply of product AND my competition is lowering prices customers have to pay.
Alright. So good so far, but in this example, there’s something missing.
What if all three of your stores decided to set prices? The least a movie can cost is $17.50 – now no one is getting an advantage, but everyone gets to theoretically make more. Win-win.
Well, now a lot of people are noticing we’re all making buku money.
And they want to get in too! Suddenly, there are 200 stores in the tri-state area selling porno tapes.
Sure, you could try to get everybody to charge 17.50 – but guess what – now the market has a HIGH supply. Customers can go anywhere and get that sweet 80’s bush action. So even if everyone charged $17.50, your share of the profits would be much, much lower.
Also, no one gives af about you and your price point. You got into the industry for your reasons, but a lot of sellers are here for different reasons!
Why People Price Differently
Some sellers have bills due this week, and don’t have time to argue pricing with customers (the analogy is survival work – no one gives a shit about higher prices if they’ve got to cover rent today- reminder that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and tons of people are in this position).
Other sellers found smarter ways to package and price, and have loyal buyers that will buy at any price point- but they still want to attract a big audience by giving a low entry point (hello? Low OF pricing, tons of Pay Per Views, anybody?)
Some have already figured out what you don’t know – that a low price can mean more sales- and they’re not interested in listening to your “just charge more!” megaphone screams (if you don’t believe me just check some of the TOP earners on digital platforms – there are creators making 50K a MONTH on OnlyFans on a 7.99 price point with no PPV)
Welcome to the Freaky Deaky $4 Store
Alright, so back in the time machine. You’re still trying to charge that $29.99 to your customers and acting like you’re the only business in town.
Except you’re not. There’s a TON of competition now, and tons of people trying to figure out how to get the most out of the business.
Someone (a really smart someone) figures out what’s true across all industries: low prices sell big amounts.
Boom! Across from your store opens the “Freaky Deaky $4 Store! $4 movie rentals! An all you can n*t buffet!”
What the F*#K? Why are they charging so little?
Well, with a new price point they’ve basically created a new market space for customers. That $29.99 customer can get 7 video rentals for the same money!
You better believe they’re going to rent tapes more often and rent more of them!
And the Freaky Deaky $4 store? Well, now tons of customers are coming in to shop with them. Even customers who wouldn’t usually buy think “what do I have to lose?” and go in their store!
They’re getting so many customers that even though they’re charging less per video, they’re making EVEN MORE than you were when you were charging high prices!
Now, at this point you might still be annoyed at your market competitors – after all, if they all went up then wouldn’t it just mean even the lowest price is pretty high?
It sure wouldn't. Here's why:
The Age of the Ad
If this is you, and you’re annoyed at the pricing of other sex workers, let’s talk about the reality of the industry.
Let’s leave the mom and pop stores of 1987 and take it to 2020.
Now it’s not just a tri-state area in-person store situation. Porn isn’t some small quaint marketplace. Porn is BIG BUSINESS.
And pornography distributors aren’t in the business of pornography- they’ve gone BIGGER. Now they’re in the advertising business!
They know what Youtube/Instagram/Facebook have figured out – it’s a lot easier to charge big companies to show you ads than it is to charge you for something that you can find with a quick google search!
So, they don’t give a f*ck about pricing their pornography – in fact, they WANT to put content out there for FREE!
Because the more free content they have, the more likely customers will watch their ads – and the more companies will pay them to show a 30 second clip promoting a product!
What that means for content creators:
There isn’t just some porn out there – there is an INCREDIBLE amount of FREE pornography out there.
Say hello to Pornhub – one of THOUSANDS of FREE PORN SITES – with… let’s see…
…over 12 MILLION VIDEOS.
What’s that you were saying about setting a price limit? What was that “charge more and they’ll pay?”
If you think that what someone else charges for nudes or adult content is getting in the way of your bag, you’re blaming the wrong one.
Unless your plan is to get every free porn distributor taken down, don’t blame other sex workers for “undercutting” your business.
The market is flooded with content. Pricing isn’t related to supply anymore – we are in the age of artificial demand.
HOWEVER, PEOPLE ARE STILL CHARGING FOR CONTENT.
How does this make sense?
Why are people still paying for something they can get for free.99?
I’ll give it to you: while we’re competing with big porn distributors, there is a big difference between logging into Pornhub and signing up for a creator’s content.
Whether that’s clips, videos, or photos, sex workers are setting price points and customers are making buying decisions by seeing pages in the same niche, comparing content, and picking favorites.
So, doesn’t that mean we should have SOME opinions about charging?
And, if there’s free content out there, how can we charge anything for ours?
Why should someone sign up for your OnlyFans/clips instead of just getting it for free?
Stay tuned for the next article – we’ll be covering what ARTIFICIAL DEMAND is, why you should give some thought to pricing (even if you decide on a lower price point than other accounts), and why building a brand is KEY to setting a price point that’s right for YOU!