MALIBU, Calif. – In the early days of the online adult entertainment market, much of the adult industry’s online presence flowed from ideas, structures and business concepts which essentially were carryovers from more traditional media and publications.
Many of the earliest free picture sites were built on content originally shot for magazines, for example, whether from slides or by directly scanning their pages. Later, much of the web’s early adult video was ripped from VHS tapes, even when it was duly licensed from the producer.
As such, it’s not surprising to hear that SexyJobs.com, which launched in October 1998 as the web’s first adult-specific employment site, has roots in a more traditional publishing space, as well.
“The idea actually came from our customers,” explained Sean Phillips, Marketing Director for SexyJobs. “In the mid-1990s, we were in the book publishing business. We produced books and pamphlets dealing with a wide range of adult topics. One of our most successful titles was called 1-2-3 Be A Porn Star!”
What began as a book soon became the basis of a site which has since helped over 250,000 people find work in the adult industry.
“We received numerous letters from people who enjoyed the title, but who were frustrated that it didn’t include enough listings of adult companies who were hiring,” Phillips said. “People didn’t want to merely fantasize about becoming porn stars; they wanted a viable way to get plugged into the adult entertainment community and apply for real-life opportunities in the same way that they would for mainstream jobs. That’s when it dawned us; the Internet was the logical place for something like that. It seems ridiculously obvious now, of course, but it was a breakthrough idea then.”
Nearly 20 years later, SexyJobs is going strong, with 68,636 active jobseekers and 1,434 active job listings on the site, as of the time of this article’s writing. What has kept the site chugging along over the years, Phillips said, is the site’s reputation and the high level of satisfaction reported by its users, both jobseekers and employers.
“Because we enjoy very strong branding, the majority of our clients come via word-of-mouth, organic searches, news articles, website links and referrals,” Phillips said. “We do some focused advertising with Google and a few other outlets. We don’t engage in any cold-calling or spam marketing. Our philosophy has always been to focus on providing the best possible service and everything else will follow from there.”
Naturally, as with any site or service which relies on and interacts constantly with third-parties, there are some inherent difficulties to operating SexyJobs.
“The biggest challenge of running the site is keeping it free of scammers and fraudsters, so that our employers can find legitimate talent and our jobseekers can find legitimate opportunities,” Phillips said. “It’s an endless task, needless to say. But we are extremely proud of the numerous state-of-the art fraud controls we have implemented.”
While SexyJobs does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of providing jobseekers and employers a central location to find each other, naturally using the site successfully isn’t as simple as drag-and-dropping yourself into a job, or downloading the perfect employee.
For job seekers, Phillips advises people “take the time to make your profile stand out.”
“Instead of saying, ‘I want a job that pays a lot of money.’ I advise jobseekers to describe their unique skills and talents,” Phillips explained. “Even if you have no direct experience, you can always convey enthusiasm and interest. Be professional, but creative. Have fun with your profile and be sure to focus on positives, not negatives. That way employers will know that you are not just capable of performing the job, but you also will make their workplace more enjoyable.”
“Be sure to upload good quality photos,” Phillips added. “Don’t take a picture of yourself in a poorly-lit bedroom or bathroom. If you can’t afford a professional photographer, go somewhere where there is good lighting and have a friend take a few photos of you in different poses and wearing different outfits. Don’t use filters, masks or effects in your photos; prospective employers want to see the real you.”
On the flip side, Phillips says employers should strive to “keep their initial inquiries brief but informative.”
“Nobody wants to wade through a huge block of text to decide whether to respond to a job offer,” Phillips noted. “Another no-no is to send the same message to every jobseeker. Take the time to compose a message that reflects a jobseeker’s unique objectives and qualifications. Include as much contact information as you can, including a phone number, an email address and a website, as well as the city where you are located, even if you are hiring outside of that area, as each of these elements adds credibility.”
Obviously, a great deal has changed since SexyJobs first launched almost 20 years ago, but Phillips sees reasons for optimism about the strength and sustainability of the industry, even within what has become a more difficult market than it was back in the late 90s.
“There has been a lot of consolidation among the big companies and hundreds of mom-and-pops do seem to come and go every year, but new players with great ideas are constantly entering to revitalize the industry, even during the most challenging times,” Phillips said. “For a while, it looked like the tube sites and other big fish might be squeezing out the small players, but that has not entirely come true. If anything, right now, we are in the midst of a major renaissance period, with more opportunity than ever for both job seekers and content producers.”