Updated: Aug 20
Have you been thinking about starting an OnlyFans account? Or are you looking to grow your following? This may be the post for you! Imagine being able to talk to dozens and dozens of OnlyFans creators to be able to pick their brains about how they operate their business. What works. What didn't. How they got started. What they've learned. What a resource that would be!
Well, over the past few years, that's exactly what I've done. As a top womens photograper in NJ I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity.
I'm not certain... but I probably started seeing my first clients mentioning OnlyFans in late 2018 or early 2019. I wasn't exactly sure what it was all about at first, and after receiving inquiries about creating content for the service I decided to take a closer look.
Fast forward a few years, and I've become somewhat of an expert on the platform after working with dozens and dozens of creators-- from new to experienced-- and with small to quite large followings. I've seen what works... and what doesn't. I've talked with many women about how they've learned to maximize the platform.
None of this was ever planned. 😂 Over the past few years I've been fortunate to be able to interact with these creators, and gather all this knowledge and wound up sharing it with those who wanted to listen. Many of my client OnlyFans sessions now seem to also involve some degree of coaching and planning as well as content creation.
Curious about learning some of these tips? I bet. As any creator would tell you, though, you certainly don't give away your most exclusive content for free! (Or cheap!) Right? Lesson #1 learned. 😂😂 --Don't worry, there's plenty of great info below.
Think about it, though. People are willing to spend way more on a Ferrari than a used Hyundai, right? Why? There is an entire marketing strategy behind the branding and pricing. ...And why so many people yeeearrrnnnn to have that Ferrari. Are you going to be the Ferrari or the used Hyundai?
Now is the time to decide!
Let's take a look at some of the common questions regarding getting started...
Do you need a fancy photographer to be successful on OnlyFans?
Yes...and no. Here's the bottom line... OnlyFans is about providing a steady stream of content to your subscribers. Fancy photographers, like me 😂, come at a fancy price that may not be in the budget of many who are just getting started. Filling your feed with nothing but pro images can get really expensive... and you may not receive an immediate return on that investment. You don't need fancy-schmancy pro images to get started... or grow subscribers.
That being said there is certainly a case for working with pro photographers to level up your content. Getting a great cover image, alone, may be worth the expense. You don't get a second change to make a first impression. On the OF platform you are competing with thousands of women and you may only get a split second for someone to decide if they will click through and check out your account... or not. If your cover image is not up to snuff... you may be losing out... BIG.
If your account is new, and you don't have many subscribers, spending a lot of money on pro photography content that is not really reaching a wide audience may not always be a great initial investment-- especially if you are working with limited resources. Your great photos are only been seen by a few eyeballs, and you won't be really getting a big return on money spent. You don't have enough paying eyeballs yet to recoup what your are going to spend.
I always tell people don't go rushing in to spending a lot of money on content when getting started. Your cell phone takes great photos, and starting off with some cute selfies is not a mistake and will be the most cost effective way to get your account off the ground.
Once you are established and can benefit from a set of pro images, it can certainly be a worthwhile investment.
But wait... what about my Instagram account? Aren't pro images good for promoting my OnlyFans there?
Again, yes... or maybe no. Many women who are creating OnlyFans accounts use Instagram to help promote and drive traffic to their accounts. How many followers do you have on your Instagram? Are you creating a new one just to promote your OnlyFans?
Some women create new Instagram accounts solely to promote their OnlyFans accounts to separate their "private Insta" from their "OnlyFans Insta." If you are making a new Instagram just to promote your account... you know it takes a lot of work to grow a following on Instagram! For a new account with little to no followers it may not be worth the initial expense of paying for pro images-- to share on an account with little to no following.
If you have an established account with thousands or tens of thousands of followers pro images can help take you to the next level and may be worth the cost.
Wait... I see women on Instagram who I know have OF accounts that seem to post tons of pro images AND they literally have hundreds of thousands of followers... that's what I want!!! No?
Well, odds are those accounts didn't start off using exclusively pro content.
There are indeed women on Instagram that have grown accounts to hundreds of thousands... or millions of followers that seem to post lots of highly edited and curated content: Accounts like Alexa Collins, Abby Dowse, or Skylar Simpson among many others boast large followings and display lots of high quality work... but that's not the sole reason they are successful--
As your account grows to 100,000's of Instagram followers, you may create relationships with top photographers in your area who may want to work with you... because of who you are! Lots of top photographers will work with Instagram social influencers and models because they are good vehicles to promote their brands. Models with large followings, in turn, want to work with the best photographers to help them look their best. As your account grows, you'll start to move up the food chain.
When you're starting from zero it may not be so simple.
The little secret here is that these women share something in common: they work hard. They are posting new content every day. I really don't know how some women can keep that up... it's exhausting! 😂 But they do! Hair...makeup...outfits... day after day after day. These women are indeed hard workers and that is a big reason why those accounts grow... not necessarily just because of pro images.
As a photographer, it may oddly sound like I'm trying to talk people out of getting professional photography...but that's not the case at all! What I'm saying is that if your accounts are brand new... you may not get an immediate return on that spend in terms of likes, subscribers, etc., to justify paying for an expensive (which usually mean talented) photographer. If you have a good budget... go for it. It's not going to hurt.
Perhaps a better way to look at it is this... Instead of your OnlyFans career, let's say you work up one morning and decided to be a pro golfer. You know absolutely nothing about golf... Would you say that running out to the local sporting goods shop and getting the most expensive golf clubs is going to immediately make you a good golfer? Um, no. There's a bit more to it than that. Likewise, getting a bunch of pro images isn't going to make you immediately successful. There's a bunch of daily hard work involved. Great photography is a part of successful account, but not the only reason for success.
Should I charge a large monthly OnlyFans subscription fee?
Well, no. Charging a high monthly subscription fee may not be the best move. What's best is a low, or sometimes even no monthly subscription fee. No fee? Seems a bit counter-intuitive, huh?
The higher your monthly subscription fee...the fewer subscribers you'll have.
And what's the point of all this OnlyFans stuff if it isn't to grow subs??? But wait, Mike, I'm in the for the money, how do I make money then if I don't charge my subscribers a monthly fee? Good question. It's because the real cheese 🧀 doesn't come from subscriptions... and this is one topic I cover with the women working with me to help them know how to score big with subscribers.
Let's look at a quick example... but there are more details about this later.
Would you rather have 30,000 free subscribers seeing your content or just 30 subscribers paying $29.99 per month?
What if 5% of those total 30,000 subscribers were your total PPV purchases per month... and you charged just $5 per PPV? Those 1500 PPV purchases would net you $7500 per month in revenue. What if you could get $20 per PPV from those same 1500 PPV purchases and create $30,000 per month?
So, let me ask you again. What would be better?
Scenario 1: 30 subs @ $29.99 totaling $900 per month.
Scenario 2: Free subscription page garnering 1500 PPV messages sold per month @ $5 per PPV totaling $7500?
Of course, having a free account has it's trade-offs. Having a free account will get you more subscribers, but these subscribers will have less buy-in, and more than likely just subscribing to you because you are free... You will have a lower per subscriber PPV purchase rate.
Ultimately, you can decide what works best for your page.
If I post lingerie photos on Instagram will it take away from my OF subs?
Excellent question. Many women that work with me walk away with amazing photos and they are not sure if they should save them for their OF, or use them on Insta. The truth is it doesn't matter. You can post them on both!
Do I really need to create "extreme" content to be successful on OnlyFans?
Nope. Let's face it... for years I've had women contact me and think they need to do something "wild" or "edgy" or "erotic" to grow subscribers and make more money. What does any of that really mean? Those terms are relative, and one person's "erotic" may very well be another's "tame." As a channel gets more "extreme"-- it doesn't mean it makes more money. There is no correlation.
The most important thing is being genuine and being yourself. If you are naturally flirty... just be flirty. If you are naturally just super-cute... just be cute. 😀 If you are naturally a bit more sexual, do it up. Being something you aren't doesn't really help you long term.
Not only that, there are lots of audiences. Knowing how audiences are segmented and in what audience the biggest chunk of men lie is important...wouldn't you think? Do you know what that audience is?
--AND if you aren't haven't fun with your OnlyFans, odds are you won't have great success. If you aren't having fun interacting with your fans they will pick up on it. If you aren't posting regularly, you won't have great retention... and it's a lot harder to get a new subscriber than it is to keep an existing one.
OF COURSE, the men and women paying to see your subscriber or locked content are expecting to see more than what they are seeing for free or on your Insta.... You have to create the expectations and set them clearly on your account. Let's face it, most locked content contains some form of nudity or sexual activity... and I don't think that's much of a surprise to women getting involved in OF these days... but the most successful accounts may not be as extreme as you think.
Nudity is EVERYWHERE on the internet... for free(!) Why would people pay for OnlyFans?
Now we're getting to the heart of the issue... and the answer is it's not just about seeing bewbs... there's one small and simple thing women running large and successful accounts know and DO. Bewbs may be what gets the men and women (and yes, women love bewbs, too) in the door, but the secret to KEEPING them around and making money is a painfully simple thing that is totally overlooked by many. This simple action takes a little time and effort... but doing it is the key to success.
Want to know what this is? 😏 It's a method I teach all my clients... and it works.
Another reason they pay is...well... they're men. They are programmed at the factory to respond to certain visual cues. That and simple human curiosity will cause them to buy...buy...buy... given the right reasons... Do you know these right reasons?
Should I create video content?
Yass! Videos are a monster money maker. The thing about video content is that it can be tricky to do by yourself and look good. You can film simple short "selfie" videos at arms length, but the truth is its a little tricky to try to hold a phone steady in your hand while doing an "undressing" or "try on" video.
Having video professionally created can be a costly endeavor, and as I mentioned earlier with pro photos, may not be really worth it for people just starting out. That being said, once you get your account rolling, creating professionally shot and edited short 10 - 15 minute videos can be a cash cow.
Videos are often solo, a collaboration with a co-OnlyFans creator, or even with a boyfriend/partner.
Solo videos are probably the most prevalent. They can be from simple "undressing" or "sexy writhing" videos (as I call them 🤷) of you rolling around in bed, to steamy masturbation shorts.
One thing about OnlyFans is that people are always looking to grow their subscribers... and a great way to do that is through collaboration. More on this in a bit...
Do you have a boyfriend/husband/partner who's OK being on your account? It's not unusual to have them take part in your videos in some way.
The bottom line is videos are a great tool. I have personally created videos with creators that have earned them thousands of dollars... in a week.
Should I be collaborating with other OF creators?
Sure! One great way to be to introduced into an entire new group of potential subscribers is to hop on someone else's feed. People are always looking for new content, so it's typically a mutually beneficial situation.
You may have a BFF who is already on OF. Teaming up with her to post some photos of you, or even do some photos together is a great way to have both creators reach new potential subscribers. Additionally, if you are doing pro photos/videos, there may be some savings booking the session with her concurrently.
Reaching out to other creators in your area is also a good way to reach a new audience, as well. I wouldn't necessarily go jumping in bed with another OF creator you just met a day or so ago... but if you can build a relationship with someone from your area and you seem to both get along... why not?
I've had previous clients do this... and I love it because I get a potentially new client, as well (hey.. its business 😏.)
One thing to be careful of here is to be sure that you and your new OF friend have a chat beforehand to discuss your plans. That way everyone is on the same page with the same expectations-- and all are comfortable with the plan. Collabs are great... but you don't want to get yourself in a situation where it turns out she expects to be creating material that would make you uncomfortable... or doing stuff that isn't exactly your style. Shooting some silly girl-girl poses may be one thing... but if your new OF friend is expecting something a bit more hardcore, this may create an uncomfortable situation.
I have one long time client that was offered a collab and asked me if I be interested in doing photos/videos of the two of them. She was excited about the opportunity as the woman asking was a long time veteran with lots of followers and likes. I asked her to send me the womans OF account link, and a few nights later I was reviewing it, and in the account de