We’ve all been feeling the squeeze, so to speak, of social distancing, though each of us is experiencing it differently. For some of us who are single, life can be lonely. For those married with kids, juggling life, work and finding new biz may feel overwhelming. Yet, we endure and continue finding ways to stay connected, and even thrive during this time.
For many of us, the loss of live trade shows has been very difficult, not only for business, but because we just miss seeing our friends. Luckily, many conferences have been offering virtual programs. Most recently, XBIZ Miami proved to be awesome, and next up is XBIZ Berlin in October. Most shows have dedicated lounges or rooms for networking. Panel discussions are often in a Zoom-like format, so you can still enjoy the educational component of shows. Virtual programs are fun and productive, and many times, free or inexpensive. I think they are definitely worth the time to attend, if you’ve been on the fence.
There are many collectives for people in the different verticals of the adult industry. If you are a performer, consider union groups such as APAG, which has virtual meetings every other Sunday. For those in tech, retail or research, try Sex Tech Connect, which also has virtual events every other Sunday. If you’re Black, indigenous or a person of color, check out the new BIPOC Collective; they’re hosting some very cool discussions. And finally, if you’re female-identifying, Women of Sex Tech could be a good place to link up with others too.
SFW Adult Social Media Groups
In addition, there are lots of groups and pages on social media for people in adult. For those in retail and products, there is Pleasure Professionals Place and SPAM (Sex Professionals and Manufacturers) on Facebook. For people on the web side of things, many of the shows have Facebook groups including XBIZ, The European Summit, QwebecExpo and others. Look them up, and join. It’s super easy, and many of the members are very active!
Adult Industry Social Media Networks
Consider participating in social media network alternatives to the “mainstream” ones. For example, a community is growing on Pleazeme.com. The censorship we experience on mainstream platforms is non-existent on Pleazeme, which is really exciting and liberating. Brands, thought leaders, experts and artists can fully express themselves while exploring sexuality and/or promoting their products or services. Businesses can sign up to have a “channel” to reach current and new customers, as well as network with other companies and professionals in the industry.
Like social media groups, forums are a fantastic avenue to chit chat with others “in the biz.” For instance, XBIZ.net has an awesome forum with lots of members conversing daily. It’s a fun way to talk about business, news … and some very random topics, here and there.
Slide Into Those DMs
Something that is very simple, but could be tough for people who are shy, is simply reaching out to others on social networks. People are on Twitter and LinkedIn to network, right? So, more likely than not, they’ll respond positively. Hey, the worst thing that can happen if you DM someone is they won’t respond. And to that, I say, oh well – it’s their loss. In my experience, the vast majority of people in the adult industry are friendly and open. I bet if you reach out, usually you’ll get a friendly reply. You can then go from there with where the convo flows.
Podcasts, VODcasts, and Webcasts
Have you ever wanted to explore creating your own show? People are glued to their computers these days, and they are looking for good content. Hosting your own show is an amazing way to get to know others and for others to hear about you. You’ll learn about your guests (and vice versa) through their interview, and the audience will get to know you by listening in or watching. Put up quality work, and soon enough, people will be seeking out your show and requesting to be a guest because of your growing following!
As you can see from this list, there are a ton of ways to stay in touch and get business done, even while sitting at your home office computer. Take advantage of these opportunities and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals, both during and after; yes, there will be an “after the pandemic.” Until then, see you in cyberspace!