The adult modeling industry is very different from the modeling counterpart in terms of the model’s actual work and the types of marketing required to get that modeling job. In the world of modeling, a model has little chance of succeeding alone without numerous industry connections, including fashion show producers, clothing designers, and merchandisers. But in the adult modeling industry, models and performers often freelance because of the perceived effectiveness of self-marketing and getting jobs. In reality, however, the adult model or performer needs an agency, manager, or professional representation just as much as their counterparts in the fashion industry.

Mature models and performers who freelance usually find work on classifieds or classifieds sites, eventually working the so-called job-to-job grind. At first, this may seem like the right way and possibly the only way for the adult model to do this particular job. But eventually, almost always sooner rather than later, it becomes apparent to the artist that this method of managing one’s career through advertisements and forums, working from job to job to make money, has a very short shelf life.

Freelance adult entertainers are much more prone to being scammed or, worse, physically abused. In the minds of some photographers or adult film producers and directors, a self-directed model is easier to deceive or lie when it comes to smoothing out the details of a job. And the same mindset sometimes holds when it comes to fulfilling the job’s agreement in terms of compensation. This is one of the reasons why some photographers and content producers prefer to work with an unrepresented model rather than one with agency or management support.

But assuming a model or entertainer can live with the occasional backlog—which she’ll still run into even with representation because it’s pretty much a product of the industry—there’s always the long-life aspect of her career; what she should be concerned about.

There is a small time frame in the adult modeling industry in which a model can work and still be successful. If ever there is an industry where one has to plan for the future and take the necessary steps to ensure maximum income and have a revenue stream in the future, it is in the adult modeling industry. However, achieving this requires the knowledge and tools to create a recognizable brand and reach a wide audience. Standard methods of self-marketing do not accomplish this. And for a model who works and lives her life, taking on this other aspect of the business is often a burden.

An adult modeling agency or a management company can see the forest behind the trees and create a long-term plan for their client, including multiple revenue streams. The reasoning for this kind of thinking is simple: The more money the client makes, the more money the agency or manager makes. As a model or artist, it would only make sense to support someone who is critically connected to your financial, physical, and emotional well-being. And because this company or person is so invested in your career, they will go the extra mile to ensure that you are marketed effectively and that your public persona is always gold, both of which are very important for success in the field—Short and long term. So while freelancing may seem to save you 15% to 20%, the reality is that it ends up costing much, much more.